The Hook Journal

The Hook: A Comeback Story (Or Something Like It)

Photographer:  Richard Sanders

Photographer: Richard Sanders

This is the beginning.

In 2016, we started our site in a dimly lit bedroom on the corner of Locust & 15th in a basement apartment. Since then, we have grown exponentially and without limit. We could not be more appreciative of the music scene, not only here in Philadelphia, but the entire East Coast. We would not be who we are without the bands & artists that fuel us further, push us harder than what we believed.

In the two years since our beginning, we have hosted dozens of showcases, reviewed hundreds of albums, and put our stickers on lots of stop signs in different places around the country. We have been supported by volunteer writers, photographers and artists. We have paid every artist who has worked with us, and donated more than three-hundred dollars to different Philadelphia non-profit organizations. Without our scenes, near and far, we would not be where we are.

So, here we are. Two and a half years later, and we’re ready to get started. We will continue to host shows, to create charity EP’s to donate to important non-profit organizations, we will continue to review and talk about local music. We hope to begin to give voices to those who don’t always have them in our scene, we want to create critical op-ed pieces to, not only fuel and better our scene, but to also better ourselves as people in a world. It’s time to talk about it, so we will. We welcome guest writers, bloggers, and artists to host their work on our site. We welcome those who are in need of a safe space, of suggestions for shows, albums, groups that will allow every body in our scene the place it deserves.

If you're interested in learning more about us, we've got a handy video now, so check it out below!

To begin, we have our first returning showcase on July 13th at our place, so if you’ve never been to a Hook Show, this would be the one to get to. We will be hosting a show on July 17th at Century Bar, and future shows will soon be announced. We are in the works for a 5th Charity EP, featuring all unheard, local music for a good cause.

As always, you can check out our social media down below to keep up while you're on the move. More announcements to follow, so stay tuned!

The Hook Journal: Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

Exclusive Premiere: War Twins Share New Single "American Kids"

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LA Natives and iconic two piece War Twins are up to bat with their fiery new single, "American Kids." After touring non-stop and calling their van home for the last 5 years, the duo partnered with the famously innovative producer, Sylvia Massy (Tom Petty, Prince, Red Hot Chili Peppers),  Massy was able to capture and accentuate the combination of raw emotion and radiant energy of several of War Twins songs in a quick week of recording.

We've got this hot new single streaming below via Spotify!

After having spent the last few weeks touring the Northeast, including our home city of Philadelphia just yesterday, War Twins should be celebrating this release by relaxing and enjoying their hard work!

Definitely check out the single streaming on Spotify, and checkout War Twins social media down below to keep up with everything they've got going on!

War Twins: Website // Facebook // Instagram // Twitter

John Whip's 'Electric Love' Debuts Today

Photographer: Steph Defeo @solidstares

Photographer: Steph Defeo @solidstares

Philadelphia local, John Whip, is celebrating today with the premiere of his latest single, and greatest effort, "Electric Love." The jazz infused-pop single is one listeners can easily fall in love with, and Whip creates an intimate scene for you to get lost in.

Whip is an impressive force, but the singer did have help putting "Electric Love" together, of course. With the help of his regular band as well as some outsourcing, "Electric Love" includes John Whip (keys, vocals, production), Sam Carlen -(guitars, bass, additional keys), Craig Hamilton - drums & percussion), Ilya Setrakian - (keys for Electric Love), and Henry Tirfe - (tenor sax for Electric Love).

Between Whip's smooth voice and tender lyricism, his band also follows suit in a defined, crisp manner to make this track a true delight and experience to listen to. We've got the exclusive premiere of the track, streaming here on The Hook only!

Check it out below!

Whip describes how "Electric Love" came to fruition for us, "I wrote this song after accidentally falling in love with someone.  The way we all do when someone just says the right thing or smiles at you the perfect way.  They way that maybe we all think we shouldn’t because there are so many options and reasons to be alone. I knew I didn’t want it to be a jazz song though as that would limit my possibilities in a commercial world, but I knew that if I sung it a certain way and packaged the song a certain way, it could be pop - but still a different kind of pop.

I've just fallen in love with a lot of guys and wanted to explore what that means and who that makes me in the world we live in.  

I just wanted people to relate to that other side of hookup culture that we don’t sing about. The part when we catch feelings / usually the worst part because feelings aren't always reciprocated ya know?"

Of course we relate to that, and "Electric Love" is the perfect song to put on while getting over those post hookup blues. John Whip should have lots more to give us if this is what he's already putting out - polished, professional work.

To keep up to date with John and what he has coming out, check out his social media down below to never miss an update!

John Whip: Facebook // Soundcloud

The Hook Journal Releases Latest Compilation Charity EP

We are elated to announce our latest compilation charity EP, The Winter EP, available for stream and download right stinkin' now!

The EP includes 5 previously unheard tracks from local bands including Honeytiger, Anna Ladd, Downtrodder, Psycle, and Doggo. Each track on this EP is either an unheard demo, or unreleased master of tracks these bands graciously donated to our cause!

The Winter EP's profits will be donated, 100%, to WOAR. WOAR is a non-profit organization in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania whose mission is to eliminate all forms of sexual violence through specialized treatment services, comprehensive prevention education programs, and advocacy for the rights of victims of sexual assault.

"Founded in 1971 and incorporated in 1973 WOAR is Philadelphia’s only rape crisis center and one of the first in the nation. Over the years the organization has grown from a group of volunteers working in a small room of a hospital to an organization that touches individuals across the city."

Click here for a sample of WOAR’s history over the last 40 years.

Check out a stream of the EP below!

It'd mean the world to us if you checked out the EP and donated some money to the cause! If you can't because funds are short, please just share the EP and that would be great too!

As always, thanks for all of your support & Happy New Year!

New Music Video From Sleeptalk

After their recent release via Artery Recordings, Sleeptalk is celebrating the high of their new music with a brand new video to go along with it!

After self-releasing their debut EPs Pure, a straight-laced indie rock offering and Young, the more experimental spaced-out release, the band sought to marry the best qualities of both on Sleeptalk."Bright Eyes" is a short and crisp track is an innocent song about an infatuation that finally blossoms. 

Check out the new video for "Bright Eyes" below!

Vocalist Anthony Fitzpatrick says this about the music video, "It's about being with the girl you have wanted to be with for so long and realizing you both were meant to be together." The video uses footage the band shot while they were on their most recent tour. Hotel room jam sessions, meeting fans, and parking lot footraces gone wrong are a few highlights.

Sleeptalk is available now on iTunesMerchNow, and all other digital retailers. Check out the video above, and then check out Sleeptalk's social media links down below!

Sleeptalk: Facebook // Twitter // Soundcloud // Instagram

OUT TODAY: The Hook Journal's Charity EP 'The July EP'

Out today is the anticipated Hook Journal Compilation Charity EP!

The EP features 5-tracks from some of Philly's best, and most talented bands including Nikolai, yeenar, Architect The Destroyer, Andross, and Adventure LostJuly's EP donations will go to Books Through Bars, a non-profit organization dedicated to the faciliation of books & education texts to inmates all across the United States. Located in Philadelphia, PA this organization is close to our heart, and we're excited for the opportunity to help a hardworking organization doing work for an incredible cause!

Check out the EP below, and make sure to purchase it to help donate to a great organization!

We will also be accepting book donations along with this July EP, and you can check out our Facebook for more information on how to donate books!

The Hook Journal To Put Out Compilation Charity EP

We know a lot of music, right? I mean, yes, we do and it's no question that because we know a lot of music, we always want to share that music with others. I mean that's why we're a music magazine after all, right?

We're super excited to announce that we'll be putting together some of our favorite local artists together for a good cause! 

On July 1st, we'll be releasing our first ever compilation EP featuring artists such as Nikolai, yeenar, Architect The Destroyer, Andross, and Halogens! We're in the works with finishing up this first batch, but each EP will be dedicated to a different non-profit organization in which all of the proceeds from the EP will be donated!

July's EP donations will go to Books Through Bars, a non-profit organization dedicated to the faciliation of books & education texts to inmates all across the United States. Located in Philadelphia, PA this organization is close to our heart, and we're excited for the opportunity to help a hardworking organization doing work for an incredible cause!

We will also be accepting book donations along with this July EP, and you can check out our Facebook for more information on how to donate books!

For more information, stay tuned!

Honey Shares New Single From Forthcoming EP

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In anticipation of their upcoming EP, Mock Pop, Pittsburgh trio Honey are streaming their newest single "Drag Dealer" to hype it up! Mock Pop, the group's debut on Wild Kindness Records, combines dreamy guitars, slick songwriting, catchy melodies, and a punk rock sensibility. 

Check out "Drag Dealer" below!

Mock Pop was written while the group was spread out through Cleveland and Pittsburgh, and serves as a cohesive piece of music that will be the "soundtrack to your summer." The record was tracked in a desolate cabin in Virginia, and mixed at Mr. Smalls Recording Studio!

Definitely stay tuned with Honey for their upcoming June 30th release, and in the meantime stream "Drag Dealer" above or on the band's bandcamp.

Check back with The Hook for our review of the EP soon!

Honey: Facebook

New Single “Allegiance” from VISTA

Anthem rock group VISTA is back once again with a new single, called “Allegiance.” This new track follows the previously released “Henchmen” and stands as the lead song from VISTA’s upcoming EP, due for release later this summer.

The message of “Allegiance” is about calling for fans of the band to join their own personal allegiances, and like most musicians, VISTA wants their fans to find a safe space in their music. VISTA is a combination of lead vocalist Hope Vista and guitarist/singer Greg Almeida, and “Allegiance” shows off their chemistry in performing together.


“Allegiance” goes hand in hand with “Henchmen,” the themes of both songs blend together in a way that makes it clear the full EP will have a larger connecting theme, as well. The band offered this statement about the new single: “’Allegiance’ picks up pretty much right where our last single ‘Henchmen’ left off, as the last single was an anthem of oppression. This is an anthem of resistance and banding together.”

Revolution is where it’s at, and “Allegiance” screams it. With their music, VISTA carves out their own sub-genre in the alternative scene: anthem rock. They’re all about making music that people can get behind, music that will make people rally, music that makes people want to stand for something.

“Allegiance” is a powerhouse track that speaks to a worthy cause. Listen to it down below, and stay connected with VISTA on social media for more updates on when their full EP will be released.

VISTA:
 Facebook // Twitter

Benchmarks Asks Us All To Be Kinder With New Single

Hailing from Nashville, Tennessee, new indie punk band Benchmarks is getting ready to release their first full-length album. Our Undivided Attention will be available on March 24th, but for now, Benchmark’s latest single “Let You Down” is available for streaming.

Check it out below!

The song gives a reminder to its audience that it is necessary to remember to be kind to one another, as that is something that is so often forgotten in today’s society. With Nashville serving as the backdrop, the lyrics of “Let You Down” paint a picture of forgiveness, of kindness, and of loving one another.

Benchmarks vocalist Todd Farrell Jr. (who is also the lead guitarist for Columbus-based punk band Two Cow Garage) says this of the song, “The idea for this song came after a friend called me out on something I said that I, perhaps, didn’t think through. We all build our own ‘houses’ around ourselves based on the way we see the world, but it doesn’t mean that the rest of the world outside doesn’t exist. I used the backdrop of a rapidly developing city (like Nashville, where we live) to tell the story of tearing our neighbors down to build ourselves up, and how maybe that’s not the best way to treat people.”

The album Our Undivided Attention is the follow-up to Benchmark’s EP, The American Night, which was released in June 2015. The album’s first single “Frames” is available for streaming on Spotify, and you can listen to “Let You Down” on SoundCloud. Physical copies of Our Undivided Attention are available for pre-order through SofaBurn Records, and you can connect with Benchmarks on their social media sites!

Benchmarks: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

'We're Still Here' From Above the Moon To Aid Planned Parenthood

One of The Hook's long time favorites, Above The Moon, recently released a brand new single, "We're Still Here."

The track was released on January 20th, the inaugural day of 45th President, Donald Trump. As the country rightfully begins to protest against the seemingly hostile new president, Above The Moon has spent their time wisely - introducing a new track for listeners, and the best part is that all of the proceeds from the single will be donated to Planned Parenthood!

Check out a stream of it below!

The anthemic track highlights some of the misconceptions that have risen from the election, and is a validating quietude of reminding "him that you're here, we don't have much to fear anymore." 

This one is for a good cause, so definitely check out Above The Moon and donate for a good reason!

Above The Moon: Website // Bandcamp

The Danger Of Falling Announce Tour

West Virginia's The Danger Of Falling have recently announced a tour with Years End, and the Imminence Records’ promising melodic hardcore up-and-comer are pleased to announce more tour dates in support of Hope/Well!

You can check out the short tour down below!

These dates all in support for last year’s five track label debut EP that was a critical darling for brimming with conviction and having an essence that has quickly drawn in fans all around the world.

Guitarist Robert Grimm had this to say about the upcoming dates, "We are excited to get out on the road with Years End! We have been good friends for a while and we are looking forward to playing some areas we have never been to before.”

For more on the upcoming tour, our The Danger of Falling, check out their social media below!

The Danger Of Falling: Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

The Hook & PSM November Showcase

Photography: Mac Schibel

Photography: Mac Schibel

The Hook & Paper Scissors Media are proud to present our third installment of our monthly showcase series for the month of November!

As October winds down, The Hook & PSM are excited to ring in the month of November with a show on November 4th at Philly's own Pharmacy! The doors open at 8 for music from Philly natives like Secret Nudist Friends, Honeytiger, Geisha Facade, and Motherwhore! Visitors from Tennessee Mom and Dad are also joining the show!

So, be there or be square!

Pharmacy
Philly, PA
BYO
Doors at 8PM
$10

We're stoked to see you there, and you can check out the Facebook event for more hype!

Will Wood & The Tapeworms Connects With The Hook

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After the recent release of their latest album, Self-ish, Will Wood & The Tapeworms has taken the time to connect with readers of The Hook!

Check out what Will Wood had to say about his first show, or his last show, or maybe all of those shows in between. A handful of experiences you definitely don't want to miss!

Vomit.
     Suck down a cigarette and toss it down a gutter on Bleecker Street. Splash some water on my face in the water closet at Vivaldi. Five-dollar flask of Evan Williams on the corner where they don’t check ID and down it in four swilling gulps before oozing down the sidewalk to suck down a cigarette on the corner of 9th and Ave. A. Bacardi Gold in the pocket of my tzatziki-stained $800 Loro Piana trenchcoat to hold up my sleeve between opportunities to discreetly spill a few drops into a black coffee from Au Bon Pain on College Avenue. Don’t look both ways before crossing the street to roll on up to the hookah bar on George. Learn to freestyle rap from a large redhead who called himself Johnny Fresh up at Matelson Hall. Two tabs of a research chemical only known as 25i-NBOMe under my tongue at the Relay for Life in a North Jersey Suburb. Bile, sick, coughing, wheezing, heart palpitations and a faint occasional reminder that I need to change my face and get out of this town before they tar and feather my Borderliner ass and send me out with my keyboard strapped to my back on an NJTransit back to wherever I came from.
What was my first show like? I’d like to know myself. I don’t think I’m capable of reaching back into the cloudy ether of my memory and fishing out something I’m certain of. I have scraps of things to look back on, but the order and the significance are all twisted and knotted and tangled like matted hair on a sweaty pillow. Like lofty thoughts on an acid peak. I sort of emerged around 2013 or so, I think, although I had been on stage as a musician before then. Under various names and disguises and personas who all requested unique attention from me and gave nothing back in return. Nothing but vaguely haunted blackout shards of evening mania and what I fear may be permanent damage to my internal organs. There’s no Dewey Decimal System in my head to keep track of these haphazardly-arranged memories. Scratched DVDS and unwound video tapes on crooked bookshelves in the attic of my head – I can pull out overexposed polaroids and maybe tell you which one in the photo is me, but to pick a single evening out of the haze and say “yes, that’s it, that’s the one!” is like asking a toddler his earliest memory. He’ll probably babble about his time spent as a dinosaur in a past life, and new age freaks will make youtube comments about indigo children and the dawning of the age of Aquarius.
 Maybe my first show was that night at the Bitter End in Greenwich Village. I was 18 years old and a fresh dropout from Binghamton University, singing about LSD in front of my friends and family. The response was mixed. Maybe it was the night I got drunk on the curb with the Rabbi I met at the Sidewalk Café, or got drunk with the schizophrenic outside the Pyramid Club who told me that the government had repossessed his mansion because of something he had in his intestines- he had good weed. Or in the basement of the Poetry Club soaked in face paint, boxed wine and strange men’s saliva. Or the night I discovered that fascinating gay bar with the red walls and pornographic videos showing behind the bar, doing bumps of cocaine off a stranger’s house keys. And what about that night spent on the bench with the wailing obese man covered in mud who cackled like a maniac at every word I said but let me drink long island iced tea of an old milk carton he had on his lap? Or was it the night I asked out the goth girl with the skull candy headphones, not knowing it would lead to years of emotional turmoil, heartbreak and nonsense?
 I’ve been playing shows for a long time. I suppose since High School. For some musicians, there may be a landmark by which they knew they were getting their start. An event etched into their mind that they look back on fondly, or maybe embarrassedly, and say “that was my first time.” I don’t have that. I’m missing huge chunks of my life and I’m still sitting on the curb picking up my molars and putting them back in my face. Will Wood and the Tapeworms has existed since before there was even a band I could call Will Wood and the Tapeworms. Will Wood came somewhat before that, but I’m not sure when. There were other personas and other iterations and countless utter failures to launch, but with the way I scrambled my brain, I can only tell you that I don’t remember my first show. Just lots and lots of last shows.

-Will Wood

For more on Will Wood & The Tapeworms, or what they're up to, check out their social media links below!

Will Wood and the Tapeworms: Website // Facebook // Instagram // Twitter

The Hook & Paper Scissors Media Present...

Poster Art: Maggie Fenning

Poster Art: Maggie Fenning

After a successful September 9th show, The Hook and Paper Scissors Media have teamed up to bring you (what we hope to be) a super rad show series.

Right here in Philly you can check out our latest gig, October 13th at The Tralfamadore. Invite yourself to the event page, or head over to our social media to check out more info - and we're super fuckin' stoked.

This show will feature Coping Skills, Holy Tunics, Curtis Cooper, Killer Ghost, and Secret Nudist Friends! To drum up the hype, you can look forward to articles about each of these stellar bands - so definitely do keep out on the look out for that.

We're adding this event to our calendar, and so should you!

The Hook Announces September Show

Poster Art: Jena Stevens Mar

Poster Art: Jena Stevens Mar

The Hook Journal is proud to announce that we are beginning our show series this September at The Tralfamadore right here in Philly!

We'll be using these shows to present to you the really rad, and hard working scene that we're constantly surrounded in. By collaborating with featured artists, we'll be able to bring the music right to you! Read about it, hear about it - that's the goal. 

This debut show will take place on September 9th at 7pm. We're featuring some of The Hook's OG faves including Weatherhead, Semiotics, and Halogens. Joining them is one of our newest features, Dear Friend!

Check out our Facebook event here, more info coming on this soon!!!!!