Being in a band these days is tough, and as is the case for Rhode Island’s Beverly Tender, it’s best to call it a day when you’re peaking. While Little Curly/boy is a Bird will be their final release, they’re going out with a musical wonder. The whole record is comprised of these little sonic collages, woven together carefully to craft some oddball pop quilt. “April 17, 2018” comes across like a more demented Animal Collective, but they’ll flip that in a moment, turning into the delightfully playful “We Are the Children of the Future on Earth;’ this is just one of the many twists and turns offered throughout the LP. A rarity nowadays, but this is a collection that’s meant to be listened to as a whole; it’s not meant to be partially consumed and then discarded. Immerse yourself in the fabric of this LP and you’ll be rewarded with pop wizardry; then go grab the tape from Disposable America. We wish the band all the best in their new ventures, but you can catch them on December 6th and 7th playing with Palberta.
It’s funny that Portland trio Lubec have titled their new EP Against Nature; it feels like the perfect fit to the band’s sound at the moment as they take all these forces and work them against each other. Five seconds into the track and the guitars come crashing through the speakers; it has this discordant math-iness to it, which, in a sense, sort of recalls the style of Braid/Hey Mercedes. But, you contrast that sort of brash artiness with the group’s inclination towards pop sensibility, which is present here through Caroline’s vocal work, juxtaposed with the rougher surface. You could flip that too, talk about the heaviness as it would relate to a thunderous Northwest storm, only to find itself in a calming middle moment, moving to a fade out that forces reflection…it’s the precise way in which this very tune unfolds; the perfect amalgam of nature’s forces, all acting at once, against each other, and yet together. Such is the great execution of this song…and EP. Look for it this Friday via Disposable America.
In case you weren’t anticipating the new Halfsour LP enough, I wanted to reaffirm that next weeks Sticky release will be well-worth your hard-earned dollars. I think the meat of this song is top of the line, Grade A rock n’ roll. It opens with this bobbing bass line and this knife-work guitar, letting Zoe tease you into the track. Once they hit that 1.10 minute mark, the song drops into some of the best guitar pop I’ve heard this week, with Zoe’s voice soaring through your stereo (or probs your laptop). it’s like a fucking tractor beam of rad pop music that you just won’t let you pull away. Sticky drops next Friday via Fire Talk and Disposable America.
Earlier this year, Boston’s Community College released Comco (or s/t, however you see it). There was this earnest fragility in the songs, present as soon as you pressed play. Today I’m really happy to share this live video of standout track, “Broken Back,” recorded live on VHS over at Big Nice Studio. The choice of medium is important, not only in the presentation, but in its effect on the viewer as the song moves along; it brings in this personal intimacy, as if the band was helmed by your favorite older brother and his friends who’ve been practicing in your garage for the last six weeks. Musically, it has that blend of slow-core (Bedhead) meets emo (Hovvdy) vibe, but its brevity allows for repeated listens which you can have if you grab the tape from Disposable America.
Here’s the thing about Halfsour; the band can pretty much change and adopt to any style to fit their need. You want power-pop? They got it? Need a noisy rocker? They got it. This new single off Sticky is a slow-burning ballad…like I said, they got it all. It’s built up slowly, rolling drums and Zoe’s voice primarily pushing the song forward. You can hear the guitar lines pop up here and there in the first 2 minutes; it’s then that things start to get a little bit broader. The guitar goes for a solo, and the song spreads its wings, with Zoe’s voice again riding on the back of this beautiful bird. Like I said, this trio can do it all. Just wait and see when the LP drops on May 24th via Fire Talk/Disposable America.
I’ll be honest, Halfsour didn’t cross my radar until Jigsaw Records sent me Tuesday Night Live back in 2016, but I’ve been a huge huge fan since then, so it’s great that they’ve announced a new LP! I think the mix on this song is absolutely perfect; you get these huge heavy riffs and crashing cymbals, but they’re not imposing. It’s more like they’re clearing space, giving ample room for Zoe Wyner’s voice real-life commentary to strike listeners down. I love the chorus from all parts, from the scuzzy guitars to the pitch changes in Wyner’s voice, it all absolutely works to the max. Sticky will be out on May 24th via two of my favorite labels, Fire Talk and Disposable America. Please, if you’re not listening to this band, you’re not living right.
Every time I listen to Community College, I feel like a voyeur of sorts. It’s like I’ve been let into this small world where few people get to be; a place that’s quiet and personal, and not necessarily meant to be shared. On the forthcoming LP, there’s a few tracks that bring you into that quiet, but below, I’ve got one of the more expansive numbers that I think will do a wonderful job bringing you along into this personal world with me. But, you’ve got to be quiet, so you can hear the hum of the strings. Be careful, you don’t want to shatter something so beautiful and fragile. Look for Comco to drop on March 8th via Disposable America.
Halfsour caught our attention when they had a release with our friends over at Jigsaw Records, and they just unleashed another couple of tunes from their forthcoming Charm School. I like how these two tracks show the two sides of the story of this band, offering one with the male front and the other featuring a female front. In that story, you get a rambunctious semi-TV Personalities feel, while the latter brings out a more pop-punk centric jam. These new jams will be featured on the new release from Disposable America and Too Far Gone Records on October 14th…this should be on your list.
I’ve always loved singer-songwriter tunes, but I hold a special place in my heart for the sort that seems to take on the oddity of the world, distorting the genre into something much different. Names like Coma Cinema and Liam Betson come to mind most recently, and now I’m ready to add Soft Fangs to that list. Of course, the warped aspect is reserved for the opening choruswhile a pop explosion fills outthe space that follows, closing the track towards the end. His new album The Light will be out on March 18th via Disposable America and Exploding in Sound Records.