If you didn’t get your hands on last year’s Divide and Exit LP from the Sleaford Mods, then perhaps you missed the boat. The UK act was all over year end lists, and I’ve got a certain fondness for the duo. Musically, they’re definitely in the vein of punk rock: brutal all the way. But, what’s more punk to me are the vocals from Jason. It’s semi-spoken word, semi-rap, yet there’s no subject matter that’s off limits, including relegation rovers, QPR. They’ve got a 7″ featuring one of the catchy tracks off that LP, but it’ll have an exclusive B-Side, which we also have below. Emotional Response is responsible for the single, so get it while it’s hot! Here’s “A Little Ditty” and “I’m Shit at It.”
I’ve really been enjoying the tunes I’ve heard from the new effort from Portland’s Summer Cannibals. They’ve got this entangling bit of rock n’ roll, but there’s this sultry draw that comes from Jessica Bourdreaux that really drives home an extra special hook. But, don’t think that things are all bright and sunny, as they break this song down with a crunchy guitar edge to round out the softness on the track. It’s the title track from their forthcoming album, Show Us Your Mind, which will pop up on New Moss Records on March 3rd.
I love a track that opens with some rambunctious guitar riffs, setting the mood for a really good time. That’s precisely what the lads in What Tyrants have brought to the table, just before their vocals come into the party. The Minneapolis trio is specializing in making catchy garage rock that’s as infectious as it is edgy. These tunes will pummel your ears, but their fast, so you’ll have plenty of time for recovery. Look for their debut No Luck to be released on March 24th via Forged Artifacts.
Ah, those old innocent days when a great pop tune made everything seem perfect. This Keath Mead track is just such a tune, erasing the doldrums of every day life. There’s some slick production that gives it a straight pop feeling, though I think Mead’s vocals have a nice touch to them that really brings this new single home. It’s interesting that Keith’s imploring the song’s intended audience to “act your age,” which is completely the opposite of how this makes me feel. I want to take off on a long sunny day walk with this song bouncing me along. His album Sunday Dinner comes out on February 24th via Company Records.
Just because we rep Austin doesn’t mean we don’t look around Texas for great tunes from our neighboring cities, which is where we ran into Denton’s Birds of Night. The group’s new single has this guitar that cuts through the pounding rhythm section, tied in tightly with a great Southern vocal that wears a Texas drawl proudly. It reminds me a lot of local band A. Sinclair, just offering up a heavy dosage of great no-frills rock n’ roll. Their album, Birds of Night, was recorded by Midlake‘s McKenzie Smith at his Redwood Studio, so you know they’ve already caught the ear of some Texas heavy-hitters. Here’s to them reaching beyond our state line; look for the album on April 21st.
Surely Happyness has hit your radar, as they’ve had an incredible run the last year or so. They maintain their balance between huge walls of guitar noise and pop sensibility that really harkens back to the late 90s when bands like Grandaddy and The Comas were gods in my listening rotation. You’ll hear a screeching guitar in the middle here before they bring back the power hook that comes with every vocal. If you love pop, but still love to rock a bit, then there’s not going to be a better band for you in 2015. Look for their new effort, Weird Little Birthday, on March 24th via Bar None.
I’m typically not the one on the site that runs the electronic side of things, but I needed an extra pick me up after hitting up five shows in the last week, so I thought I’d toss out this new tune from Karl Kling. It’s a track that’s rather infectious, and it’s got just enough bouncing bass to really get you moving about your place, or your office if you’re so inclined. Airy vocals and heavy beats will get you dancing if you know what’s good for you. Look for his self-titled album to hit on March 3rd via Crazy Heart Records.
Well hello Sweden! Feel like you’ve been quiet for too long. But, now I feel like Makthaverskan makes up for it the absence. Aside from the nod to Pussy Riot in the artwork, they take that Swedish sound of jangling guitar ring and fill it with a bit more noise; it sounds like a sloppier (albeit intentional) version of Love Is All. The vocals have this siren quality, haunting the track and the listener while the rest of the band works furiously to provide a more rocking element. Still, there’s a harmony to the voice that’s utterly intoxicating. Definitely a track to keep in your rotation this weekend. This tune will appear on a Tour 7″ they’ll be bringing to the States for their huge Spring tour.
A few weeks ago I hit up a Nic Hessler tune, and I wasn’t entirely sold on it. That’s until I got hooked on this new single, which made me realize how great Nic’s work could potentially be going forward. It’s an example of perfect recording, starting the song off a bit slow, then waiting to explode in this huge swell of pop magic. It’s surprising that more music ins’t being crafted in precisely this manner; it seems so simple (though I’m sure it’s not) and so easy, yet that’s precisely why I give Hessler credit, as I don’t think everyone can perfect it in such a manner. Look for Soft Connections in stories on March 17th via Captured Tracks.
It’s always good to hear from your friends and discover their new discoveries. Seems like Portland’s Dogheart have something going, despite only being a fairly new band (formed in 2014). They’ve got this catchy hook they rock right away in this song, and the sound of the vocals is pretty appealing. It’s a casual song in a sense, honing in on the group’s ability to ply their trade at great pop songwriting. This song is definitely promising, so I’ll be interested to hear their debut What Burns the Best when it’s release in a few weeks (Feb 17th).