I had to search our own site to find out how long it’s been since I’ve posted an album review and I will refrain from embarrassing myself with the exact timeframe, though you could search yourself I guess. We as an ATH staff have been neglectful as a whole when it comes to album reviews and we are hoping to rectify this moving forward. Hopefully you can understand that if an album has brought me out of my review slumber it must be a great one. The very soon to be released new album from Dan Mangan, More Or Less, is just such an album because, holy hell, it’s impressive. Hit the jump for some thoughts, photos, and tunes.
More often than not, I like to kick it old school with my musical tastes. Ya know some old emo/post-emo style tunes or throwbacks to 90s era grunge/alt-rock are sure to pull at my heart strings. Well my friends in Vancouver based band Dead Soft deliver the later style today with this new song “Down”. It’s certainly a grunge, alternative rock song similar to something you might have heard on the indie stations back in the late 90s. Bing bang boom.
Dead Soft will release their latest EP New Emotion on October 5th via Arts & Crafts.
Feel like today had me going into a casual place of joy, so I had to make sure I introduced you to something slightly darker, like Vancouver’s Lie(note, there’s an accent over the e, wordpress sucks). The group just announced their newest album, Hounds, by offering up this smashing number. Guitars immediately push you in one direction, rushing you with their discordant chugs as the drums shatter through your speakers. Those cavernous folks help the song’s natural ambiance, darkening your soul while your body tries to catch up with the rhythm. Plus, the new effort is guaranteed good times, as it’s being released by Mint Recs in Canada and Monofonus Press in the US; it drops July 6th.
While I’m obviously partial to Austin band, Dumb, this great tune is actually from a Vancouver act of the same name. This Dumb employ a jagged stutter in their guitar work, with frantic bass work that’s reminiscent of acts in the vein of Omni. It’s a bouncing good time with a certain indifference in the vocal delivery, even including a nice little noisy guitar solo along the way to the song’s finish line. It all sounds to me like great bits of art-punk where tight guitar lines cut the rug with nerdy lyrical lines; look forward to the band’s new Seeing Green LP, which drops on June 22nd via Mint Records.
I like the immediacy of this new track from Noble Son; it hits the listener right off the bat with its guitar circling the stomp of the drum work. A playful piano line adds an extra layer to the song just before Adam Kirschner delivers his first vocal line. He’s got a distinctive set of pipes, but I love the operatic power it holds the most, soaring above the mix in a marvelous fashion. It’s strange, but perhaps the best compliment I can offer this tune is that I never hear the same thing…at times I am attracted to the unfolding bounce, other times it’s the tinkering piano line…all pointing to an album of great promise. Joy in Violence will be self-released on March 30th, with a slew of Canadian tour dates around the release.
It’s always nice to hear from old friends in bands when you weren’t sure if they’d parted ways with the music game. Today my rekindled musical relationships comes by way of old pal Justice McLellan who formerly fronted the Canada based outfit Ruby Coast. If you don’t remember those guys, they played an ATH SXSW showcase for us many many moons ago. Well now Justice is working on a new project called Blue J and he just sent us over this nice new track “Early Show”. It’s definitely a hushed beauty sort of song built beautifully over a multitude of layers and intricate sounds. We’ll be sure to share more as we know more.
Man Mint Records has really been pumping out some hits for me recently. Only yesterday brought news of that legit new Tough Age EP and now they’ve sent me this surprising new single from Vancouver based WOOLWORM. The song, “Catbird”, reminds me of Thursday if they added more shoe gaze and indie tendencies to their sound. It’s right up my alley.
WOOLWORM will release Deserve to Die on August 25th via Mint Records.
Are you looking for the perfect place where Alvvays and Allo Darlin meet? That perfect indiepop comes in way of Vancouver’s Sleuth. The vocal qualities seem to lean more toward the former, while the musical aspirations closely resemble that of the latter. It harkens back that perfect late 90s era of pop music…no bullshit, just great songs. They’re doing a limited release of their latest album, Out of the Blue Period, via Kingfisher Bluez and Jigsaw Records this month, so if you know anything about modern indiepop, you know this is always a trustworthy source.
I discovered Vancouver based Avid Walker earlier this year and I’ve been eagerly awaiting more music from the band over the last couple of months. Well today is my lucky day with news of another single from the group entitled “Sun In Eyes”. This bright and easy going music is so easy to get into, and honestly, I don’t see why everyone isn’t jumping on this bandwagon faster. I expect even bigger things from these guys in the future.
Stay tuned for more information on an upcoming debut EP this Fall.
Dark bubblegum pop? Isn’t that a contradiction? Well yes, but in the best possible way. Vancouver’s Thee AHs just released this terrific album called Names over at their band camp page that shows a mastery of sugary pop music with enough darkness to tone it down to not only an enjoyable level, but a great one at that. This track, “Andrew,” that I’ve got below will give you a good idea of what I’m talking about, as it blends these two sides of the spectrum quite well. The guitars kick things off on a grungey note, and then the gang female vocals wash the track over with sugary sweetness. Like this song, the whole album is filled with pop goodness that needs you attention, so go pick it up over here and enjoy.