Have You Heard Smokescreens?

smokescreensAdmittedly, I’ve got a bit of a man crush on Corey Cunningham (musically speaking); I’ll swear by anything he does…Terry Malts, Business of Dreams…and now Smokescreens. Even better, is he’s teamed up on this project with Chris Rosi of Plateaus (they’ve been quiet lately, amiright?). The end result is something you’d expect if you knew the history of these bands: huge pop with sound with enough grit for you to still act like you’re tough. While the bouncy verses are great, I’m stuck on trying to hit the same perfect notes that come in the glorious chorus. Their new tape hitson February 2nd via Parked in Hell.

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Plateaus Release New Jam

Plateaus1Plateaus have been a band we’ve been following for some time here at ATH, and they’e quietly gone about their business; they even released a brand new 10″ that I didn’t even know existed, until I caught sight of the Sasquatch fold out that serves as the see for the Wasting Time 10″.  Had it been some random band with colored vinyl and Bigfoot on the cover, I would have got it anyways, but it rocks even more because it’s a band I adore.  I think you’ll find the below track rather enjoyable, as it encompasses the catchy group playing with a hard edge.  You can still grab yourself a few over at Mt. St. Mtn., or just enjoy the jam below.

Top Albums of 2012: 50-1

Here it is.  I know you’ll hate it; I know you’ll disagree, but that’s not the point in making an arbitrary list.  We here at ATH worked really hard to fit in the tastes of the four of us, and when we decided upon our Top 50, it really boied down to simple math.  What albums did we love when they came out?  Do we still enjoy spinning those records months later? If they’re in the Top 50, then the asnwer is probably yes.  I mean, our Top 2 records came out in January, and still play a vital part in my weekly listening.  There’s no disclaimer here.  We are who we are, we like what we like, and we hope that’s okay with you. If not, drop us a line and let us know where we went wrong.

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New Jam from Plateaus

Okay, so this isn’t exactly a new jam; it’s from the Plateaus self-titled album that I raved about just a bit ago.  But, they put this song out on the net yesterday, and it’s one of my favorite tunes from the record, so I had to have it up here on the net for you.  While some of their songs are faster and grittier, this one’s got a bit of pop polish, which is where I first found my love for the band.  There’s tons of punk rock and pop rock jams filled on their Art Fag Recordings debut LP, so if you pick it up now you’ll have plenty to sink your teeth into.


Plateaus – s/t

Rating: ★★★½☆

After a slew of catchy 7″ releases, Plateaus are here with their self-titled LP, which is absolutely refreshing. It’s coated in a bit of distortion, but it’s quick to the point and filled with hooks.  It’s a short listen, which benefits those looking for high energy on repeated plays.  Those looking for a new slice of punk in their playlist need to add this one immediately.

It opens with the excellent single, “Blackout,” which bangs out a throttling beat from the get-go, while the guitar cuts its way sharply in and out of the mix.  Vocals have a nice bit of polished sheen to them, providing an edgy bit of pop to the pummeling track.  Then it jumps right in with another heavy-hitter, “Beach Coma.”  Musically, the songs seem to dwell in a similar space, though the vocals are delivered a little bit more spoken-word than its predecessor.  These are the sorts of songs that make a perfect album opening, giving you energy and hooks, establishing the mood from the start.

But, Plateaus aren’t aiming to make this all in-your-face rock n’ roll, especially when you listen to a song like “The District.”  There’s a slower pace to the percussion and the guitars, hinting at a more classic power-pop sound–something I adore in particular. Songs like “Jump Now” and “Swamp Thing” also carry this element of polished swagger to them, providing bits of pop to the general mood of Plateaus. For me, it gives you a nice little break from the grittier moments on the record, just in case you needed that breather.

Sure, the sound of Plateaus does have a very slight tendency to get caught in redundancy, but don’t even worry about that, as there are some clear standout winners, aside from the previously mentioned tunes.  “Better Things” is one of the album’s longest tracks, and it’s filled with noisy cymbal work and a twang-ing guitar that lurks in the far off background, only to cut in with a bit of screeching solo from time to time.  It’s stuck right in the middle of the record, so it often comes in to surprise me, and then I play it again.  I also have a personal affiliation with “Do It For You,” which was one of the first songs that turned me onto the group.  While it might open with a screeching guitar, there’s an element of sing-a-long pogoing delivery to the lyrics.  Sure, the music is lo-fi and dirty, but the hook comes with the combination of the music and the vocal, drawing me in every single time.

Since San Diego has a deep-rooted history of punk rock, it makes sense that a band like Plateaus would be born from the city.  They’ve combined the classic elements of the city’s sound, using hard-edged guitars and fusing it with elements of pop-punk, creating a sound that allows you to tap your toes, sing-a-long, and still bang your head.  There’s not a bad song on the record, so you can’t fail by getting yourself invested in this great effort.


Download:Plateaus – Blackout [MP3]


More New Jams from Plateaus

We’ve been raving about Plateaus all summer long, and it looks like the rest of the world is finally catching up to our impeccable tastes (I’m looking at you P4K).  They’ve put out a slew of punk/power-pop 7″s recently, and they’re about ready to bust out their self-titled debut for Art Fag Recordings.  This new single is just what I love in the group; it’s short and sweet, and catchy as hell.  These are the sorts of songs I dreamed about as a kid, so it’s great to see that all our electronic progression hasn’t gotten in the way of good old rock n’ roll.


Download:Plateaus – Blackout [MP3]

More New Music From Plateaus

Towards the beginning of summer, we brought you the first taste of this new gritty punk rock band out of California Plateaus.   With the excitement around here about the band back then, you had to know we’d be posting their songs every time a new is sent our way.  This great new song “Stop Messing Around” will appear on the band’s upcoming self-titled debut LP due out October 30th on Art Fag Records.


Download: Plateaus – Stop Messing Around [MP3]

Great Track from Plateaus

After catching a show with Plateaus last month, I’ve been putting them on my daily play rotation, tapping my feet all the while.  They recently (end of May) put out this killer single I wanted to share with you, and I’ll point you to another great track as well. They’ve got this real low-key punk rock vibe, that’s as gritty as it is infectious.  You can buy their 7″ for this song from Hozac, but there’s also a great gem coming out soon from Art Fag Recordings, which you should pick up HERE.  The band will have an album out in the Fall, but for now, enjoy the jams.


Download:Plateaus – Do It For You [MP3]