Songs You Should Know: 131’s – “This Ain’t Culture”

In the pre-Spotify days, one of the ways I would find new music was through a monthly playlist called “Indie Rock Playlist”.  It was compiled from recommendations around the world, and usually had 125-150 songs.  After downloading it, I would usually cull the list down to about 10-15 songs, and would seek out more music from those artists.

Back in late 2010-early 2011, a song that really caught my attention was “Teenage Dreams” from an Australian-based band called King Cannons.  Their sound was a mix of many different styles – punk, ska, soul, and everything in between.  I was able to find a few videos on YouTube, but their self-titled EP was not available in the US.  After getting my hands on a copy of it, I went so far as to reach out to the band via Twitter to see if they had plans to tour in the US.  The band’s manager responded with “2012”, which is when they released their excellent full length album, “The Brightest Light”.  Unfortunately, the band broke up in 2013 due to musical differences.

Lead singer Luke Yeoward took some time off from the music industry, but he’s back with a vengeance in 2016 with his new band, the 131’s.  Describing themselves as “tattooed degenerates playing punk rock”, they recently released their first single, “This Ain’t Culture”, which was described as “Bruce Springsteen singing for Rancid”.  The Springsteen influence is very clear – Yeoward even recorded a solo version of the Bruce classic “Out On The Street” in his home studio earlier this year (also worth checking out).

The song talks about trying to figure out where they fit in, with the chorus:

We didn’t belong so we started a scene.
We were the freaks you never wanted to meet.
Sixteen with my world tattooed on me.
So we’d always be outside of your society.

It’s already getting airplay in Australia & New Zealand, and they’re half way through a month-long weekly residency at The Old Bar in Melbourne.  In addition, they have an upcoming gig opening up for legendary punk band Stiff Little Fingers on 03/31/16.  Their self-titled EP will be released in June 2016.

Learn more at facebook.com/131smelbourne.