Sure sure, I’ve been mostly hitting on the pop notes of late the last few years, but when something like Die! Die! Die! hits, I just can’t turn away from the abrasiveness that raised me. That thundering rhythm section that opens this song is intoxicating in its own right, then you get the Andrew’s voice barking angrily. At times, it almost seems like the drums are doubling down on the vocals and guitar, begging them so speed up and explode. Back and forth we go, reminded by Wilson’s lyrics that we all get lost in the mix sometimes, and thus we’ve got to reset. Everything about this song feels explosive, and I can’t wait for the band to drop This Is Not an Island Anymore next February.
You ever stumble into a tune that just makes you nostalgic for home? Well, listening to the Ben Crum’s voice on the new single from Great Lakes had me yearning for that feeling, searching my soul for hints of home. I love how the track toys with Americana vibes, particularly as the voice has a wee bit of twang, but it’s still not afraid to put forth a heavy rock vibe that certainly seems like no easy feat. The guitar work and heavy stomp of the rhythm section often seem to work beneath the song’s surface, bubbling up in the chorus, jamming in the interludes, and dragging the song with a heavier hand across the finish land. If you’re into good tunes that feel like comfort food, then jam out here, and look for Contenders when it hits in February 4th via HHBTM.
Seeing as I love Screaming Females, I was super excited to hear that Marissa Paternoster would be releasing her debut solo effort; we got news today that Peace Meter will be out via Don Giovanni on December 3rd. On the opening single, we get Marissa marching through a cemetery as she repeats the chorus of “your feathers soaked in blood.” The imagery is striking, but what really hits home is the construction of the song as a whole. There’s this patience that’s evolved in Pastnoster’s songwriting, based on this calmed guitar strum, allowing her to maximize this huge wall of emotion; it’s buoyed by the production and added arrangements from Andy Gibb (of Thou). It’s a pretty powerful opening statement from a record we’re sure to adore.
Nearly thirty years after dropping their first single, Shoestrings have emerged from the quiet to drop their most confident record to date, Expectations. It makes sense that this record came about after the duo did some work for Swedish project Djustin, as there’s a very clear lineage to that delectable brand of Nordic synth pop; I keep thinking of Red Sleeping Beauty as I play this on repeat. I will say, rather than merely playing on the formula, Shoestrings definitely make this sound their own; they create these little mini-movements that punctuate their harmonies…see the great drop in at 3:11. If you’re in the mood for dense synthesized pop, then you’re going to want to press play, maybe even open it in another screen so you can press repeat. Expectations will be out on November 5th via Shelflife.
I’ll be honest, sometimes the Austin scene gets a little stale; it tends to feed off of its own bravado, then implodes to champion what sells…but honestly, its felt mostly safe as of late, until I heard this new track from Neckbolt. The band is comprised of various local figures, and a few out-of-towners, but they’re building this deranged twang-core that feels like an unholy Texan amalgam. Those gritty blues guitar sounds are fuzzed beneath this heavy wash of atmosphere, dripping with tambourine presence. Honestly, it’s like taking acid house vibes from the UK, throwing in sort of the dark experimental side of Liars, then throwing it all on stage in Marfa; it pretty much rules. Midwestern Drawl is out November 5th via Spider Dispatch Unit.
A few years ago, a show opportunity fell into my lap; I had the opportunity to book a primo venue for a day time SXSW show, but I had to do it in 48 hours before the show took place. Lucky for me, I know some people, and was fortunate enough to have Weakened Friends take the stage. They played in the early afternoon with such ferocity that it awoke everyone from their early SXSW slumber. Today the band announce their new album, Quitter, which is coming out via Don Giovanni Records; they’re doing it with the blasting pop rock jam that should get you as excited as I am for the LP. Sonia’s voice is phenomenal, and just the right amount of catchy hanging in there. Just turn it up super loud and thank me later!
It’s been a busy year for Parker Longbough, releasing an album and an EP, but we’re not even done yet, so we’re pleased to inform you that he’ll be releasing another record, Off Front Street. One of the great things about Longbough is his storytelling, and its what fills this record (and song), with his lyrical work resembling Doug Martsch to a certain degree, making the mundane leap from the speakers. This track has a circular nature to it, musically speaking, with this guitar ringing in and out of the mix, allowing Longbough to focus on his storytelling while the song buzzes behind him; it’s punctuated by this emphatic drum work, primarily on the cymbals, punching up the hooks as you go through. You can file this tune somewhere between the Pacific Northwest of the late 90s and Elephant 6. Off Front Street drops on October 22nd via Wilderhood Music.
Oakland duo The Acharis are gearing up to release their latest album come November, and our first little teaser find the band dwelling in this territory that seems all their own, perhaps aided by legendary producer John Fryer. This polished beat opens up the song, seemingly almost losing itself in the pulse, at times almost slowing to a near stop. Drums enter the picture, carefully building a touch more pace, allowing Mila Puccini to deliver this wonderful harmonic voice; it feels like it belongs in a perfect indiepop tune somewhere. But, the song starts to get worked up, adding in all these industrial-natured textures, giving the song this violent aura that your ears can’t seem to escape. When it stops, the warped pop nature might leave you not knowing what to make of it. But, one thing’s for sure, you’re going to want to add Blue Sky/Grey Heaven to your listening queue come November 5th, courtesy of Zum Media/Cranes Records.
The EXBATS are a dream for any father/daughter rock n’ roller; the band is made up of Kenny McClain and his daughter Inez, rounded out with Bobby Carlson on bass. But, I have no talent, musically, so my daughter is out of luck. Regardless, the EXBATS have just announced a new album for Goner Records, and dammit if you’re not going to fall for it in the biggest way. On the surface, you do get that sort of classic 60s sugar-pop, but beneath that, there are hints at sort of early 80s punk (thinking Blondie here), not to mention the jangles that swept overseas from Flying Nun; its a huge sound, no doubt aided by recording with Matt Rendon of the Resonars. Now Where Were We will be out on October 22nd!
Surprise! We’re working with Swansea Sound! The band, made up of members of Pooh Sticks and Heavenly (as well as Catenary Wires and Talulah Gosh) will be releasing Live at the Rum Puncheon on November 19th; it’s a join affair with various media available; we’ll be handling the cassette version here in the States on ATH Records. While a few of the tracks have been tossed out as early singles, not to mention the incredible E-Bay auction, everyone involved felt it only worked to announce the album with a brand new track for you all to enjoy! Plus, if you head to the band’s site, you can hear the song in Cymraeg. We’ll keep you up to date with things, but we wanted to celebrate and with you all and tell you how stoked we are to be part of this. Keep up to date with various ways to grab the album by checking in on the group HERE.