Friday, September 4, 2015

The Woolen Men Share New Album "Temporary Monument"

[press release] The Woolen Men are three - two Oregon natives and a Washingtonian. They play punk influenced DIY music in the Pac-NW tradition of Dead Moon and the Wipers. More than a sound or style, that means a kind of work ethic - do-it-yourself and do it a lot. The band is happiest touring up and down the I-5 or bunkered in their practice space with the cassette 4-track rolling. And it shows. Live, the band is thunderous and energetic and the magnetic chemistry of the three of them playing together shines through in the recordings.

Brooklyn Vegan is streaming the full album Temporary Monument on Woodsist Records, out today. Check out The Woolen Men on their West Coast Tour in September, updated dates tour below.

The Woolen Men are Alex Geddes, Lawton Browning and Raf Spielman. They live and work in Portland, OR. Raf previously released an album of solo material under his Polyps moniker for Woodsist's sister label Hello Sunshine.

From the band:

"Our hometown has been buried under an avalanche of condos and pointless businesses catering to the newly rich. Noise complaints shut down our shows and pull the plug on countless DIY venues. The places where we lived are being torn down; the rent keeps climbing up. Born too soon or too late, the recession's effect on our youth was as invisible as it it was profound.

Music today is rendered powerless - white noise made in the echo chamber, for the great Smooth Face that gazes once and moves on. So here it comes, some noise from the dustbin. The internet is sham: Temporary Monument, we made it for ourselves. Look us in the eyes and tell us you're not getting old."

-Woolen Men
Portland Ore. 2015


09/17 - Davis, CA @ Villanova House w/ Landlines, Blhans
09/18 - Oakland, CA @ One Fam w/ Landlines, Baus & Unity
09/19 - Santa Rosa CA @ Atlas Coffee w/ Landlines, OVVN
09/20 - San Francisco, CA @ Hemlock Tavern w/ Landlines, Skygreen Leopards, Rays
09/21 - Reno, NV @ Holland Project
09/22 - Boise, ID @ Neurolux w/ Landlines,
09/23 - Missoula MT @ VFW Hall w/Landlines
09/24 - Spokane WA @ Baby Bar w/ Landlines
09/25 - Tacoma, WA @ Real Art w/ Landlines
09/26 - Vancouver, BC @ House Show
09/27 - Seattle, WA @ Narwhal w/ Landlines
09/28 - Portland OR @ Mississippi Studios w/ Landlines, Honey Bucket

Temporary Monument Track List:

1. Clean Dreams
2. Life In Hell
3. Alien City
4. University
5. The Desert
6. After The Flood
7. Dissolving Man
8. Temporary Monument
9. Hard Revision
10. On Cowardice
11. The Wheel
12. Walking Out

Quick Notes: Stove, Ex-Breathers, Guards

*[] When Connecticut’s Ovlov announced their breakup back in the spring, anyone with half a mind knew that the band’s remnants would rearrange themselves into other projects. It didn’t take long for Steve Hartlett to announce his new endeavor, Stove. He debuted a new song, “Liverwurst,” back in April, and today, we’re premiering the first single off of their coming album. Is Stupider will be released this coming November on Exploding in Sound Records, and “Jock Dreams” features vocals from Hartlett’s fellow label mate, Sam Rosenberg of Two Inch Astronaut. Hartlett’s wry lyricism is crystalline, easy to take in and process beyond the track’s jagged instrumental exterior. Listen below.

*[] Maybe the name Ex-Breathers is a punk joke, like how in the '90s every zine and show flyer listed the former members of bands in parenthesis to help y'all keep track of the Page Six punk drama. It's just as well, because three years after their debut album, the Tallahassee punks almost sound like a different band, or at least an evolved one.

Weirdo punks like Fugazi and Minutemen are still the touchstones on Ex-Breathers' second album, Past Tense. But the laser-focused gut-punch is far more dynamic this time around, as the group sets mean riffs and a hulking rhythm section against eerie melodies. Here's the first single from the new record, "Stand Still."

Past Tense comes out Oct. 23 on Exploding In Sound and Hex.

*[] At the end of last year, we premiered “Nothing More,” a buoyantly melodic synth-streaked single from the New York trio Guards. Now, that song is finally seeing a proper release in the form of a new self-titled 7″ out tomorrow, their first record since their 2013 debut In Guards We Trust. The b-side is a hazily psychedelic cover of Beck’s “Devil’s Haircut,” and you can listen to that below.

The Guards 7″ is out tomorrow. Guards are also preforming at the NYC’s Bowery Hotel on 11/12 at Love EMC, a benefit for Every Mother Counts, a non-profit organization dedicated to making pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother.

Swedish Doom Trio Spelljammer Ready "Ancient of Days" for October

[press release] Swedish trio Spelljammer premiere the first track from their forthcoming album Ancient of Days via Brooklyn Vegan. The track "The Pathfinder" is available to hear and share below.

"We like things on a grand scale," says Spelljammer bassist/vocalist Niklas Olsson. That's a bit of an understatement considering the Stockholm, Sweden trio's penchant for massive, slow-burning sludge riffs intercut with dramatic melodic interludes. There's the pummeling heft of detuned guitars rumbling across the rugged expanse of unwieldy drums counterbalanced with moments of Master of Reality-era Sabbath's introspective acoustic breaks and Pink Floyd's Meddle-era psychedelia. These extreme shifts in dynamic give the band's third album a sense of epic depth unlike most of Spelljammer's peers.

"The vastness of everything is something that I seem to think about a lot," Olsson says, "and I guess that shows in the lyrics." Some of Ancient of Days' words were inspired by the epic poem Aniara by Swedish author and Nobel laureate Harry Martinson in which a spaceship leaving an uninhabitable Earth is hurtled off course, sending its thousands of passengers on a steady course in the wrong direction and there is nothing they can do about it. They will all slowly die as the ship continues from the solar system, forever into nothingness. This type of apocalyptic woe permeates throughout the 5-song, 40-minute album in perfect bond with the vastness of the music.

Ancient of Days is not just the band's third release, but in many ways, a rebirth. It's Spelljammer's first recording as a trio -- with Olsson taking over bass duties and new drummer Jonatan Rimsbo battering the skins -- and the culmination of a progressive move toward a heavier, doom-laden sound, away from the desert rock leanings of their 2010 debut Inches From the Sun. Vol II saw the band spreading out into darker territories. After writing sessions fell apart in 2013 for a followup to Vol II (reissued in early 2015 by RidingEasy Records) Olsson and guitarist Robert Sorling scrapped nearly everything following the departure of half of the band. The two began to build from the ground up as a duo with new ideas that resulted in the invigorated Ancient of Days. It's the band's most focused and deliberate in both its complexities and simplicities.

"Having recorded the previous two albums in a more patchwork kind of way," Olsson says, "we were very set on going into one studio and doing the entire thing." In so doing, they banged it all out over a weekend in January 2015 at Ingrid Studio in Stockholm, engineered and mixed by Christoffer Zakrisson. Here, syrupy guitars ooze from the speakers, the drums sound like they're perched atop a giant barge and howling vocals float throughout the proceedings. Ancient of Days very effectively embodies the boundless, otherworldly essence of its inspiration.

Ancient of Days will be available everywhere on LP, CD and download on October 2nd, 2015 via RidingEasy Records.

Ancient of Days Track List:

01. Meadow
02. Laelia
03. From Slumber
04. The Pathfinder
05. Borlung

Indian Handcrafts Share "It's Late Queeny" + Announce Tour Dates with Mutoid Man and Kylesa

[press release] Canadian power-duo Indian Handcrafts premiere the first track from their forthcoming sophomore Sargent House album via Noisey. Hear and share the song "It's Late Queeny" below.

Indian Handcrafts hit the road this fall, first with labelmates Mutoid Man (members of Cave In and Converge), followed by performances at Riot Fest Chicago and Toronto. Then, the duo picks up with Kylesa and Inter Arma in October. See complete dates below.

"The last one was our 70s album, this is our 80s album," jokes Indian Handcrafts drummer/vocalist Brandyn James Aikins. Although it's an offhand generalization, there's a good deal of accuracy to the jest. Whereas the Canadian duo's 2012 Sargent House debut Civil Disobedience for Losers was full of 70s style heavy groove within its drop-tuned riff-rollicking, Creeps has more sheen and steel. Or, while the previous album was more of a shag carpet lined party van, Creeps is a souped-up time-traveling Delorean.

The songs for Creeps came about quickly after the band had spent considerable time on tour, the two of them riding in a van -- er, time-traveling Delorean -- for hours on end. "On tour you're listening to everything all the time, going from Celtic Frost to Faster Pussycat," says guitarist/vocalist Daniel Brandon Allen. "It tends to work its way into the writing." The effects of that mindset opened them up to the musical twists and turns of the new album.

"It's anthemic at times," Allen says. "Hopefully listener friendly. It's kind of a mixed bag."

For Creeps the band once again teamed up with previous album engineer Toshi Kasai (Melvins, Tool), surreptitiously sneaking away from their Barrie, Ontario home for 10 days' recording at Kasai's new Sun Valley, CA studio Sound of Sirens. There the pair focused intently on distilling their ideas down to a 9-song, 44-minute can of whip ass labelled simply, Creeps.

Creeps will be available everywhere on LP, CD and download on October 2nd, 2015 via Sargent House.


Sep 04 - St Louis, MO @ Fubar **
Sep 06 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Smiling Moose **
Sep 12 - Chicago, IL @ Riot Fest Chicago
Sep 20 - Toronto, ON @ Riot Fest Toronto
Oct 06 - St Petersburg, FL @ State Theatre ##
Oct 07 - Miami, FL @ Grand Central ##
Oct 08 - Orlando, FL @ The Social ##
Oct 09 - Savannah, GA @ The Jinx ##
Oct 10 - Asheville, NC @ New Mountain ##
Oct 13 - Columbus, OH @ The Basement ##
Oct 14 - Grand Rapids, MI @ Pyramid Scheme ##
Oct 16 - Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop ##
Oct 17 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Altar Bar ##
Oct 19 - Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall ##
Oct 20 - Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts ##
Oct 23 - Richmond, VA @ Broadberry ##
Oct 24 - Washington, DC @ Rock & Roll Hotel ##
Oct 25 - Atlanta, GA @ The EARL ##

** w/ Mutoid Man
## w/ Kylesa, Inter Arma, Irata

Creeps Track List:

01. Down At The Docks
02. It's Late Queeny
03. Murderers For Hire
04. Brothers Underground
05. Maelstrom
06. Snake Mountain
07. The Divider
08. Degenerate Case
09. Rat Faced Snorter

Quick Notes: LVL UP, Meat Wave, The Diamond Center

*[] New York’s LVL UP keeps good company. Having released records on both Exploding In Sound and Double Double Whammy—labels that have released records by Speedy Ortiz, Mitski, and Pile—the four-piece has a place alongside the Northwest’s budding indie-rock bands. For its upcoming 7-inch release, aptly titled Three Songs, LVL UP joins Boston’s Run For Cover Records, which takes on the band’s most mystical work year as a co-release with Double Double Whammy. The A.V. Club is streaming all of Three Songs below, and along with the dates from the band’s upcoming tour is a quote from the band explaining how to best enjoy Three Songs. But even if you don’t have the requisite candles, or the setting for such an intimate calm, the songs are still worth hearing.

“Lo! Lifting fog reveals a cloaked figure in crooked moonlight and it is shown—The Closing Door —the Blur of spirit passing through—Proven Water Rites burning effigies of past selves—demonstrations from beyond a lifting veil. First, the listener dims the lights, burning all candles found within the dwelling. With eyes open toward the ceiling, the listener feels dull heat from the candles in front of them. Eyes closed now, the listener begins to regulate their breathing and in time presses play on their device. Eyes open again, the listener reaches their hands to hover above the nearest flame for the duration of the first passage. The listener stares directly into candle’s flame, regulating their breathing. At the dawning of the second tune, the listener lowers their hands to hold and protect the candle in front of them. A new kind of light is shown now, and the listener’s thoughts may begin to wander & blur, but they continue to stare. At the end of the second passage, the listener blows out all of the candles without hesitation. In near darkness now, the listener is left to sit, breathing the remnants of fire and thoughts that drift about the room. This is the final song.”

*[] Meat Wave are the masters of — to coin a phrase here — seizure rock. Their last EP kicked off with “Brother,” a frantic jam showcasing the Chicago trio’s brand of scatter-punk. The song’s video was just as disorienting, featuring quick shots of the members donning terrifying oversized masks.

Meat Wave have since moved over to SideOneDummy for the release of their anticipated LP, Delusion Moon, and, if the video for the title track is any indicator, they are still intent of disorienting you to all hell. So push your nose right up to your computer screen, gaze into the pulsating colors, and let Meat Wave give you the seizure you deserve.

Did “Delusion Moon” disorient you or give you panic attacks? Make sure to tweet at Meat Wave from the hospital or epilepsy center and use the hashtag #MeatWaveFuckedMeUp! And while you’re at it, pre-order Delusion Moon from SideOneDummy HERE. Meat Wave is also hitting the road soon and playing Fest and Riot Fest.

*[press release] Southern psych-folk mainstays, The Diamond Center released their new album - Crystals For The Brass Empire this summer. Virginia labels Funny/Not Funny, Egghunt Records and Steady Sounds Records are teaming up for the release. Founded in early 2007, The Diamond Center makes electrified folk music filtered through a psychedelic kaleidoscope.

Since their founding in Athens, GA, Brandi Price and Kyle Harris have musically tailored their own colorful wardrobe. The Diamond Center is inspired by the recording flair of Joe Meek and Phil Spector, the bravado of the Thirteenth Floor Elevators and Brian Jonestown Massacre, and the vocal presence of Mazzy Star and Patti Smith, along with guitars that range from the gentlest acoustic to swirly and roaring feasts of fuzz.

Currently residing in Austin, TX via Richmond, Virginia, The Diamond Center are a constant metamorphosis. Driven by the always talented musicians who help to fill out their sound as well as the geography of whichever region they call home.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Helvetia Announce New Album "Dromomania" For October Release

[press release] Helvetia, led by Built To Spill bassist Jason Albertini, has announced its new LP, Dromomania, out October 2nd on Joyful Noise. The band's first release since 2012's Nothing In Rambling, it's currently available for pre-order on vinyl, CD, and digitally, with 500 VIP copies available on split-color splattered vinyl (w/ bonus "lost album" 12").

For a taste of the new album, you can stream lead single "A Dot Running for the Dust" -- which BrooklynVegan calls "an organ-fueled nugget of bummer pop that would soundtrack any rainy Sunday" -- via Soundcloud (below).

Helvetia (pronounced "hel-vee-shuh") is rounded out by Albertini's former Duster bandmate Dove Amber, Zeke Howard (formerly of Love As Laughter), Samantha Stifham, and Jim Roth (also of Built To Spill.)

Known for recording most of Helvetia's albums himself on a 4-track, Albertini's songs are raw, experimental, and psych-tinged. On Dromomania, he pairs the simplicity of '70s Kinks with the randomness of The Residents and a good dose of Captain Beefheart, topped off with influences that range from third-wave hardcore to Neu-like trance rock.

But the plot thickens... Shortly after the release of Nothing In Rambling, Albertini started recording new material at his home studio. After nearly finishing a new full-length album, a computer meltdown occurred and the entire album was lost. After a long cry, Albertini accepted the loss and moved on to write and record a completely different album: Dromomania.

However, through a bit of luck and hard-drive-wizardry, Albertini was eventually able to recover the "lost album"... and Joyful Noise is including the entire LP as a bonus 12" with the VIP Edition Vinyl (ltd to 500).

Tour Dates:

09/29: Allston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall*
09/30: Allston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall*
10/01: Allston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall*
10/02: Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer*
10/03: Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club*
10/04: Millvale, PA @ Mr. Smalls Theatre*
10/06: Louisville, KY @ Headliners*
10/07: Lawrence, KS @ The Bottleneck*
10/08: Fort Collins, CO @ Downtown Artery
10/16: Vancouver, BC @ The Media Club
10/17: Seattle, WA @ Barboza
10/24: Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios

* with Built To Spill

Dromomania Track List:

1. Bermuda
2. The Rubber Maids
3. A Dot Running for the Dust
4. Rebel Beans
5. Crumbs Like Saucers
6. Shower Radio
7. Psychomagic
8. See Saw Sow
9. Olaf
10. Pink Finish
11. Dromomania
12. Feeling The Warm Hair

Beauty Pill Announce Fall Tour Dates

[press release] Washington D.C. based band Beauty Pill released their their sophomore album Beauty Pill Describes Things As They Are via Butterscotch Records to critical acclaim. Noisey called the album, "One of the most unique and engrossing albums of 2015" while NPR said Beauty Pill Describes Things As They Are is "Quite brilliant.” The band has just announced an east coast fall tour in support of the album, which is available now on CD and LP in the Butterscotch Records online store. The upcoming tour kicks off on Friday in Washington, DC at the Black Cat and will make stops in Philadelphia, Brooklyn, Portland, ME and more. All of the band's upcoming shows are listed below.

Beauty Pill is a DC-based, semi-electronic band led by producer, singer, songwriter, and guitarist Chad Clark. The band includes Basla Andolun, Jean Cook, Drew Doucette and Devin Ocampo. After critically acclaimed records (The New York Times and The Washington Post raved, Pitchfork gave their debut 9/10), Beauty Pill amicably parted ways with Dischord Records in 2014.

The excitement surrounding the return of Beauty Pill is not simply because of the densely constructed and deeply felt music found on their second full-length Beauty Pill Describes Things As They Are (BSR012). Some of that enthusiasm is for the plain fact that Chad Clark is healthy and able to continue creating music... at all.

In 2008, Clark fell ill from a rare viral disease that caused his heart enflame. It was as a harrowing experience. He underwent two open heart surgeries that saved his life. Though the music evidences the darkness of this journey, Beauty Pill Describes Things As They Are isn’t an album of wallowing or worrying. Only one song on the album, “Near Miss Stories” refers explicitly to the experience.

“The songs are all shaded by mortality, but I found I didn’t have many insights to impart about coming that close to death that aren’t already available in lots of literature, boardwalk t-shirts and, y’know, It’s A Wonderful Life,” Clark says.

Clark’s experience is certainly threaded throughout the album (the opening lyric is “I want more life, fucker,” a quote from Blade Runner), but what concerns Beauty Pill most is in the title of this LP. These songs are lucid musical reportage, vividly and dryly presented, if often surreal.

Clark wants listeners to feel like they are “inside the songs,” an objective reflected in the unusual way Beauty Pill chose to record this album. The band created an art project called “Immersive Ideal,” commissioned and hosted by Artisphere, a Washington, DC art museum. Immersive Ideal allowed visitors to observe the band at work, creating the album. People were able to watch the band through a pane of glass. (A concept subsequently explored by PJ Harvey, an artist Clark admires greatly). It was an exercise in radical transparency. The band learned, arranged and recorded one song per day. There was no practice beforehand.

In addition to Beauty Pill Describes Things As They Are, the band has remastered, expanded and reissued its first release, The Cigarette Girl From The Future EP. They also created an original score for a recent, sold-out DC theater production of Hamlet. Cumulatively, a hot burst of expression after years of silence.

Beauty Pill Tour Dates:

09.04 - Washington, DC @ Black Cat w/ Paperhaus
10.07 - Philadelphia, PA @ Boot & Saddle
10.09 - Portland, ME @ One Longfellow
10.10 - Portsmouth, NH @ Music Hall Loft
10.11 - Brooklyn, NY @ Union Hall w/ Leapling
10.12 - Harrisburg, PA @ Midtown Arts
10.13 - Annapolis, MD @ The Metropolitan

Craw Announce "1993 - 1997" Boxset Reissue + Reunion Shows

[press release] Northern Spy reissues the first three records by Cleveland, Ohio, post-hardcore band Craw in a limited-edition vinyl box set, 1993–1997. All out of print for two decades or more, these full-lengths — 1993’s self-titled debut, 1994’s Lost Nation Road and 1997’s Map, Monitor, Surge — complete a story that concluded on Bodies for Strontium 90, released in 2002 by Hydra Head Records. The new box set lovingly reintroduces these records in a deluxe package including three remastered double LPs and an exhaustive 200-page page book. The book, designed by the team behind one-of-a-kind visually driven label Aqualamb — who have also overseen visuals for the entire release — includes a wealth of unpublished photos and ephemera, an exhaustive oral history of Craw drawn from newly conducted interviews, and a detailed timeline of band activities, shows and releases, stretching from Craw’s 1988 formation to their 2002 break-up.

Thanks to the passion of writer and musician Hank Shteamer, who served as project organizer for the set and funded it through Kickstarter, Craw’s music finally receives the reissue it deserves. We hope that 1993–1997 will spur a reexamination of the band’s place in the lineage of aggressive, challenging, radically unorthodox underground rock and metal.

To celebrate the release of this epic set, Craw are reuniting for two special shows, taking place Friday, December 18, at the Grog Shop in their hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, and Saturday, December 19, at Saint Vitus in Brooklyn, New York. All band members that played on the albums included in 1993–1997 will be on hand at each show, participating in career-spanning performances drawn from these releases as well as Bodies for Strontium 90.

On the band Craw:

Craw were an underground band from Cleveland, OH, active from 1988 through 2002. Their sound touched on metal, post-hardcore and progressive rock while remaining wholly distinct from any movement. Anyone interested in dark, heavy, complex rock/metal—everything from Tool, Meshuggah and King Crimson to Neurosis, Don Caballero, Isis, Rodan, Kayo Dot and Gorguts — needs to know their work. Craw's final album, Bodies for Strontium 90, came out on the visible, well-respected label Hydra Head in 2002, yet their early discography, including the stunning full-lengths Craw (1993), Lost Nation Road (1994) and Map, Monitor, Surge (1997), is little known even among connoisseurs. A new Kickstarter-funded box set, 1993–1997, aims to remedy that.

Each of these albums, all beautifully recorded or co-recorded by Steve Albini, is an endlessly involving labyrinth in which elegiac beauty presses up against nightmarish ugliness. The records feature air-tight, ingeniously off-kilter riffs; vocals that range from a faint whine to a horrifying shriek; epic, multichapter song structures; intoxicating guitar textures; an immense dynamic range; and esoteric lyrical themes. The songs don't follow conventional patterns, but their internal logic is uncannily sound; they're scientific in their microdetail, yet at the same time, bracingly emotional.

These records aren't special merely because they're obscure; they're not second best to everything you've already heard from their era. We truly believe that these three LPs stand alongside acknowledged ’90s masterworks such as Slint's Spiderland, the Jesus Lizard's Goat and Shellac's At Action Park.

"Craw’s music is explosive, eerie and downright riveting, combining the visceral rush of metallic post-hardcore, the compositional majesty of progressive rock and the purposeful abstraction of experimental improv, while at the same time achieving a rare, insular coherence all its own.” — Hank Shteamer, writer, musician and project organizer

"Craw was one of those things where the first time I saw it, it just completely blew me away. I'd never heard anything quite like Craw up to that point. They were this strange mixture of noise-rock and metal with this very eccentric preacher-type character doing these weird pseudo sermons over the top of the music. It was just a very potent concoction of elements. Having a seen a band like that expanded the horizons of what was possible, so in that way, Craw definitely rubbed off on Isis." — Aaron Turner, Isis and Hydra Head Records

"What Craw will use as a moment in one song, another band might use as a theme for a whole album. Craw's sound is spread out across a universe of disparate musical genres. They never imitate. Other bands imitate them.” — Steve Albini

Monday, August 31, 2015

Quick Notes: Palehound, Ought & Growwing Pains

*[] There's a certain thrill in hearing the most ubiquitous pop song reimagined in a totally different style, and there's no pop singer who knows this better than covers queen Kelly Clarkson. In the midst of a summer that brought us Clarkson's soulful takes on “Bitch Better Have My Money” and “Blank Space,” we turn the tables with a delightful cover of her 2003 empowerment pop anthem "Miss Independent.” This lo-fi psych-punk treatment by Palehound, a.k.a. promising Boston indie-rocker Ellen Kempner, really highlights the infectious little riffs propelling Kelly’s original, yet the song doesn’t lose one bit of the vulnerability that made listeners connect to it in the first place.

"I used to be totally obsessed with American Idol, and when I heard it was ending, I started listening to a ton of Kelly Clarkson again, and became obsessed like never before,” Kempner says. “She's an amazing role model with great songwriters working for her, and 'Miss Independent' in particular is a song I remember loving when I was like 10. To this day, I feel empowered singing along to it."

Kempner released her anxious gem of a debut, Dry Food, a couple weeks back, and hits the road with fellow new favorites Mitski and PWR BTTM this fall.

*[press release] With the September 18 release of their forthcoming second LP Sun Coming Down fast approaching, Ought have let another track out into the world: album-opener “Men For Miles”. It's burst of Ought’s signature anxious, kinetic energy a thrilling compliment to the smouldering introspection of already-released album highlight “Beautiful Blue Sky”.

Sun Coming Down maintains the band's tight, twitchy and economical sound, with the unfussy, understated rhythm section of drummer Tim Keen and bassist Ben Stidworthy anchoring Tim Darcy's electric guitar and Matt May's fuzzed-out keys (sounding, as often as not, like a second guitar). Ought pursue an artistically apposite austerity in committing these new songs to tape, referencing the arid and unvarnished production of no-wave and early indie rock while balancing carved-out angularity against an evolving comfort with textural coalescences and measured pacing. It makes for an album that's consistently, insistently propulsive but also feels unhurried and pleasantly unhyped. Songs like 'Beautiful Blue Sky' (already a fan favourite from live shows) and 'Never Better' unfold with gradual and deliberate ebb and flow, where scratchy guitars play like dappled shards of light on gently roiling waves of bass and organ; 'The Combo' and 'Celebration' keep things crisp and concise. Darcy's voice and lyrics continue to distinguish and define the personality of the band: his blend of ironic detachment, declarative insistence, fragmentary stammering poetics, and the occasional direct aside to the listener, finds various ways to weave within or drive through the mixes.

Sun Coming Down confirms the distinctive vitality and purposive naturalism of this band; Ought resists facile primitivism and overhyped dynamics in equal measure, keeping things hermetic but never airless, ascetic but never dispassionate, literate but never prolix. The band's steady and subtle charms don't make them the cool kids or the iconoclastic freaks - just a satisfyingly unrefined and substantive rock band that eschews indulgence or aesthetic bandwagoneering to seek a humble, thoughtful corner from which to articulate a position within and contribute meaningfully to a 40-year continuum of indie, punk and DIY tradition.

*[] Detroit punk outfit Growwing Pains’ name isn’t necessarily reflective of their journey. Prior to starting the band, frontman Zack Bratto performed as a drummer. The transition to the guitar seemed effortless for the young songwriter, though, as he quickly attracted the attention of his soon-to-be bandmates. In 2013, they released their debut album, 17 Songs About the Same Girl. Now, Growwing Pains released their latest EP, I Always Know, on August 25th via Volar Records. In anticipation, they’ve shared the title track.

“The song is a step in a new direction,” keyboardist Jeff Urcheck tells Consequence Of Sound. “In terms of sound, it’s kind of indicative of us getting more comfortable as a band. Lyrically, it’s more of a cathartic release in line with how we want things to be, rather than sort of a bunch of young punks sticking with what we know.”

Though Growwing Pains are still becoming more comfortable as a band, the track maintains a sense of self-assuredness and cohesion. The song moves briskly at a minute and a half long, with pounding drums and bright keyboard tones. Bratto’s vocals and guitar work both exhibit a devil-may-care attitude, straddling the line between unaffected and fierce. It’s a short burst of energy from a young band finding their own sound. Listen in below.

Infinity Girl Share New Album "Harm" via Billboard // Album Out Now

[] Last week, we premiered a must-hear new album from Donovan Wolfington, and today, Billboard is excited to provide an early listen to another great release from Topshelf Records.

The San Diego-based indie is often attached to pop-punk and the so called "emo revival," but this LP finds its muse in college rock and shoegaze.

The band is Infinity Girl, which happens to share its name with a Stereolab song. Their sophomore album -- and first for Topshelf -- is streaming below.

Harm's melodies are encased in swirling atmospheric cyclones, the debris of which -- a keyboard twinkle, maybe a sudden loud/soft moment -- occasionally smack you in the face. If you're looking for a good place to start, try track two, "Firehead." The band seldom recycles ideas across the 13 tracks; this is the sort of album you can continuously find new sonic treats with every listen, or every new set of speakers or headphones you try it out on.

"This was our first release as a band where we had a lot of time to think about and shape the album ahead of writing and recording it," the band's Nolan Eley tells Billboard. "We ended up with a very cohesive and intentional record, eschewing much of the delay and reverb associated with shoegaze and dream pop, in exchange for a rawer sound, more in line with the post-punk and hardcore roots of shoegaze."

Upcoming Shows:

Sep. 02: Brooklyn, NY (Shea Stadium)
Sep. 05: Allston, Mass. (Great Scott)
Sep. 27: Brooklyn, NY (Palisades)
Nov. 14: Grand Rapids, Mich. (The Compound)

Gun Outfit Ready "Dream All Over" For October Release

[press release] Dream All Over, the fourth full-length album by cinematically-minded Los Angeles band Gun Outfit—and their first with Paradise of Bachelors—maps a dangerous California that bears little resemblance to Tinseltown fantasies. The incantatory dialogues of singers Carrie Keith (guitar, vocals, slide) and Dylan Sharp (guitar, vocals, banjo, balalaika) throw off a muted, wary carnal heat, the lingering afterimage of spent desire. The inscape drawn through Dream All Over navigates the dark side of the moon—the Hollywood Babylon L.A. of Kenneth Anger and David Lynch, Father Yod and Charlie Manson, muscle cars and drought—as reflected upon a pair of road-weary human hearts.

The members of Gun Outfit, all of whom have made or worked on their own and others’ low-budget, homebrew art films in various capacities, draw from the syntax and systems of cinema, in two senses: the songs on Dream All Over invoke imagistic memories and unfold like dreams unremembered upon waking, but they also rely on staunchly collaborative team processes. The unmistakable rhythm section of Daniel Swire (drums, percussion) and Adam Payne (bass, also of Residual Echoes) fuel Dylan and Carrie’s spacious, enmeshed guitar work with a corporeal throb, and all decisions are democratically decided. Friend and mentor Henry Barnes (Amps for Christ/Man Is the Bastard) plays three different homemade electric sitars on the record. Facundo Bermudez (Ty Segall, No Age, King Tuff) engineered and co-produced.

Although reared in the realm of hardcore punk aesthetics, these days Gun Outfit bears a greater sonic and songwriterly kinship to the likes of Lee Hazlewood or Blaze Foley than to anything released in the heyday of the SST label. But there is an unspoken understanding throughout their recordings, but pointedly so on Dream All Over, that punk rock is folk music, certainly as much as honky-tonk belongs to the American folk tradition. But the band somehow communicates this kinship by barely acknowledging the formal tropes of either genre.

On their most refined and ruefully elegant album, Gun Outfit perfect their incandescent sonic signature: a dusky, canyon-cult blues fueled by melodic dual-guitar weaving and seductive male/female incantations at zero hour. It’s the nocturnal sound of desert-damaged L.A. burnout, a soured American surrealism in rock and roll creole: white line fever, paint fume flashbacks, a stranger wading out alone into the black surf.


1. Gotta Wanna
2. Legends of My Own
3. Matters to a Head

4. Compromise

5. Angelino

6. Came to Be

7. Scorpios Vegas
8. Pass On Through

9. In Orbit

10. Blue Hour
11. Worldly Way
12. Only Ever Over

"Gun Outfit songs tend to conjure up daydreams of a weirder, stonier, long-gone version of southern California. 'Gotta Wanna,' our first taste of the L.A.-via-Olympia outfit's gorgeous new full-length, is a good example of that." - The FADER

Monday, August 17, 2015

Fuzz Announce New Album "II" For October + Tour Dates

[press release] Fuzz has abandonment issues. Abandoning expectation. Abandoning reservation, consummation, resignation, and trite dictation. Instinct is all there is when it comes to the divination of harsh salvation. Ty Segall (drums, vocals), Charles Moothart (guitar, vocals), and Chad Ubovich (bass, vocals) are exploring all the blank-ations of what will be, or has always been, II. Tried and true methods mixed with tongue twisting, teeth shattering, seizure-inducing stabs at the norm. Bathe in the heat wave that is Fuzz, and regret nothing in the time freeze. Necessity is the mother of creation; and devolution stakes its claim in the past as it continues to bind itself to the future.

San Francisco, Los Angeles, heaven, hell, lunar fields, subterranean hallucinations, traffic jams, sleepless days, hazy nights, recollection or blind reflection. It is all there and so should be you. 2015 will bring a new surge of slime, fuzz, and otherwise bittersweet concoctions of earthly lettering. It will be heavy, chaotically controlled, softly serpentine, and blindingly barbaric. To translate the auditory from ethereal to saliva soaked semantics is to shatter a promise as it’s made. In the meantime, Ty, Charles, and Chad walk on. It is what it is. Just like everything else.

Fuzz’s second full-length album and double LP, II, is out October 23rd on In The Red, and available for pre-order now. Enjoy debut singles “Rat Race” and “Pollinate” via the below method of consumption. Both will be available as instant gratification downloads with all iTunes pre-orders. The band will tour Europe and North America this fall.

II Track Listing:

01. Time Collapse pt.II / The 7th Terror
02. Rat Race
03. Let It Live
04. Pollinate
05. Bringer Of Light
06. Pipe
07. Say Hello
08. Burning Wreath
09. Red Flag
10. Jack The Maggot
11. New Flesh
12. Sleestak
13. Silent Sits the Dust Bowl
14. II

Fuzz Tour Dates:

Wed. Aug. 12 – Berlin, DE @ Binuu
Thu. Aug. 13 – Hasselt, BE @ Muzikodroom
Fri. Aug. 14 – St. Malo, FR @ La Route Du Rock
Sun. Aug. 16 – Sardinia, IT @ Fordongianus The Frames
Tue. Aug. 18 – Ravenna, IT @ Hanabi
Thu. Aug. 20 – Charleville, FR @ Mezieres Cabaret Vert Festival
Fri. Aug. 21 – Biddinghuisen, NL @ Low Land Festival
Sat. Aug. 22 – Paredes de Coura, PT @ Paredes De Coura Festival
Mon. Aug. 24 – Madrid, ES @ But
Tue. Aug. 25 – Bilbao, ES @ CafĂ© Antxokia
Wed. Aug. 26 – Bordeaux, FR @ Rocher De Palmer
Thu. Aug. 27 – Toulouse, FR @ Le Bikini
Fri. Aug. 28 – La Tour De Peilz, CH @ Nox Orae
Sat. Aug. 29 – Gigor, FR @ Freak Show
Sun. Aug. 30 – Paris, FR @ Rock en Seine
Tue. Sep. 1 – Manchester, UK @ Gorilla
Wed. Sep. 2 – Dublin, IE @ Whelans
Thu. Sep. 3 – Leeds, UK @ Brudennel Social Club
Fri. Sep. 4 – London, UK @ Heaven
Sat. Sep. 5 – Dorset, UK @ End Of The Road Festival
Fri. Oct. 16 – Sonoma, CA @ Gundlach Bundschu Winery
Sat. Oct. 17 – Crystal Bay, NV @ Crystal Bay Casino
Sun. Oct. 18-19 – San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel
Tue. Oct. 20 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Regent
Tue. Nov. 3 – Santa Ana, CA @ Constellation Room
Wed. Nov. 4 – Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress
Thu. Nov. 5 - El Paso, TX @ Lowbrow Palace
Fri. Nov. 6-7 – Austin, TX @ Fun Fun Fun Fest
Sun. Nov. 8 – New Orleans, LA @ One Eyed Jack’s
Mon. Nov. 9 – Memphis, TN @ Hi Tone
Tue. Nov. 10 – Nashville, TN @ Mercy Lounge
Wed. Nov. 11 – Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
Thu. Nov. 12 – Asheville, NC @ Grey Eagle Tavern & Music Hall
Fri. Nov. 13 – Washington, DC @ Black Cat
Sat. Nov. 14 – Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts
Sun. Nov. 15 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
Mon. Nov. 16 – Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair
Tue. Nov. 17 – Montreal, QC @ Le National
Wed. Nov. 18 – Toronto, ON @ The Hoxton
Thu. Nov. 19 – Detroit, MI @ PJ’s Lager House
Fri. Nov. 20 – Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall
Sat. Nov. 21 – Omaha, NE @ The Waiting Room
Sun. Nov. 22 – Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theater
Mon. Nov. 23 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge

Doubting Thomas Cruise Control's "Remember Me John Lydon Forever" Out Now + Tour Dates

Doubting Thomas Cruise Control are sharing their sophomore full length, Remember Me John Lydon Forever in full via Village Voice, together with an interview and preview of their upcoming tour dates. Out now via Fleeting Youth Records (Passenger Peru, Le Rug, LA Font) and the band's own Duckbill Records, the Brooklyn based quartet, comprised of Bobby Cardos (guitar/vocals), Chris Sprindis (bass), Sean Kelly (guitar), and Joe McCarthy (drums/keys) have created a record filled with dynamic indie rock and "slacker pop" or as the band prefer to call it "debt punk".

Village Voice noted the band's expansive sound on the new record, offering, "there’s some noticeable growth at work on Remember Me John Lydon Forever. Recorded over three days with an engineer in tow, the band gave its songs the proper studio treatment this time out, a change of pace from past efforts recorded over time in their rehearsal space. The finessed production paints the DTCC's classicist indie sound in bolder colors, capitalizing more fully on a bigger sound that was only hinted at on their last full-length, 2011’s Build."

Speaking about the recording process, Cardos said, “It came together really well. It was the record we were ready to make. I kind of think that's all a record ever is: It's a photograph in motion, and we're happy with the photograph we got."

Doubting Thomas Cruise Control are excited to announce upcoming tour dates in support of Remember Me John Lydon Forever throughout the East Coast and Midwest. Check out all the dates below.

8/17 - Baltimore, MD @ Zissimos Bar w/ Princess Reason & Sweet Tooth
8/18 - Richmond, VA @ Strange Matter w/ Big Ups
8/19 – Harrisburg, PA @ Makespace w/ Big Ups
8/21 - Cookeville, TN @ Gnarlington Cemetery
8/22 - Bloomington, IN @ Crush Grove (Monon Day 2015)
8/24 - St. Louis, MO @ Melt
8/27 - Cleveland, OH @ The Happy Dog w/ Chomp

Recent Praise:

"For seven minutes, the track builds with rampaging guitar solos and downtrodden drum rhythms, both eulogizing the song’s namesake and also aptly capturing a feeling of vulnerability and inadequacy. The length of the song only adds to the exhaustion the band is trying to express, throwing themselves into a seemingly endless and gorgeous jam session." - Consequence of Sound

"there will be no ignoring the Brookyn slacker pop outfit, who, with dulled, ambivalently bummed vocals and trudging mid-tempo melodies, sound as if Washington state’s favorite feedback-obsessed experimentalist Phil Elverum finally joined up with a reunited Eric’s Trip." - SPIN

" with tenderly helpless vocals and sparse, distant guitars, “Lenny Bruce” chugs forward throughout its prolonged runtime, gradually reaching raging distortion and impassioned cries without any abrupt jumps in intensity" - IMPOSE

Having released a slew of EPs over the past few years and their full length debut back in 2012, this is DTCC at their absolute finest, a record packed with carefully constructed indie pop brilliance, clever songwriting and glorious barn-burning guitar solos too. Doubting Thomas Cruise Control have expanded on the slacker pop tag they've become known for, Remember Me... finds the band diving headfirst into heavier riffs, catchier hooks, and more dynamics from slow burning songs ("Laszlo's, 3 AM") to gentle indie pop ("Soft Focus") and epic yet soul crushing ballads ("Lenny Bruce"). Remember Me John Lydon Forever is the sound of a band coming brilliantly into their own, flipping the script on everything you thought you knew while sounding warm and familiar in the process. It's a breakout album from a hardworking band that never asked for anything more than to make music together.

Bobby Cardos' songwriting throughtout the album is spectacular, a rare display of nimble vocal delivery with undeniable melodic clarity and a supreme catchiness at its core. DTCC's sprawling indie rock calls to mind many of college rock's finest: Pavement, Built to Spill, Silkworm, Harvey Danger, and Elliott Smith, but its the DIY scene around them that fuels their influences, peers like Fins, Washer, and Ovlov that keep the motivation alive.

Recorded and mixed by 1989 Recordings' Dara Hirsch and Kegan Zema at Gravesend Studios in Silent Barn and mastered by Alex Saltz (APS Mastering), Remember Me John Lydon Forever is DTCC's first album produced and mixed outside themselves, offering the band the opportunity to focus on their music without worrying about engineering the record .

Doubting Thomas Cruise Control met in the Bronx at Fordham University through working at the school’s alternative publication, The Paper, photoshopping 40’s into various Google image search results. They began playing together in late 2010 and moved to Brooklyn after graduating. Their name could have been Ed Norton Anthology, but it isn’t. Their diets are primarily grain and dairy based.

Remember Me John Lydon Forever orders are now available via Fleeting Youth Records on vinyl and digital.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Quick Notes: Philadelphia Collins, Wire + Uniform

*[] Philadelphia Collins’ debut EP, Derp Swervin’, is more a disparate collection of ideas than a cohesive whole. It’s the new project of Speedy Ortiz/Grass Is Green guitarist Devin McKnight and Ovlov drummer Theo Hartlett, and they round up vocalists from around the Boston area to contribute their own take on things. There’s Palehound’s Ellen Kempner, Two Inch Astronaut’s Sam Rosenberg, Dirty Dishes’ Jenny Tuite, and Spook The Herd’s Abe Kimball — all of these different points of view are tied together by McKnight and Hartlett, who turn the fractious nature of the release into a strength, showing off how adept they are at a wide range of styles. From the murky fuzz of “Sapphire” to more spaced out numbers like “Ted Rock” — which Hartlett provides vocals on himself — to the peaks-and-valleys of closing track “Bells And Dives,” Philadelphia Collins makes heartfelt, memorable rock music that transcends a singular vision. Listen to the whole thing below.

Derp Swervin’ is out now via Exploding In Sound.

*[] There’s a flurry of Wire activity today as they share a brand new video for ‘High’, below, and announce an extensive set of European tour dates including an outing for their DRILL event taking over a stage at Incubate in September.

The Eric Scott-created video for ‘High’ takes in DIY footage from a Wire live show providing visual accompaniment to the two-minute track taken from their 14th studio album Wire which came out earlier this year. As for tour dates, Wire will play UK shows in Aldershot, Falmouth and Bristol (as part of Simple Things) in late October before heading out on a run of dates around the rest of Europe throughout November. Ahead of that, they will host the first DRILL : STAGE at a commercial festival joining the line-up for Incubate Festival in Tilburg. This all comes after recent DRILL events this year at London’s The Lexington and in Chicago also. There will be more details on the stage soon but you can find all the details you need for Incubate and check a list of upcoming Wire dates across Europe HERE.

*[] It wasn’t too long ago that we were introducing you to Uniform as a band, a duo made up of former members of The Men, Pygmy Shrews, Drunkdriver, Veins, and many more. Since then, the band has released the triumphant Perfect World LP via 12XU and has hit the road for extended tours across North America. Their journey continues through the Midwest with dates that kick off in Philadelphia and out to Chicago and back.

While Perfect World is an excellent portrait of the Uniform live experience, nothing can replace the real thing. Get a taste for that live show with a video for arguably the band’s sunniest track (also it’s most perfectly named, considering the band's nihilistic bent overall) “Indifference,” available below for the first time. Directed by Micki Pellerano and featuring the camera work of Jacqueline Castel, the video is a perfect primer for those live dates. Check it out, and go check them out.

Blacklisters Share "Shirts" Video + "I Knock Myself Out"

*[] "This song, "Shirts," from Leeds hardcore band Blacklisters, is about shirts, and this video is also about shirts.

Frontman Billy Mason-Wood states, very seriously: ‘This song, "Shirts," is a song about shirts, about wearing them, about needing them, about loving them. I didn’t wear a shirt once and this is what my world looked like. Always wear at least one shirt.’ Wise words. Wise, wise words.

When they’re not extolling the virtues of wearing one’s shirt at all times, Blacklisters are putting hundreds and thousands all over their mugs and making videos, starring themselves, that glitch and tremble along to heavy, dirty guitar lines and vocals that reach deep inside and never come up for air. If it’s a thunderous wall of stomping, feedback-laced fun you want, you’ll find this deeply satisfying.

Watch the mayhem unfold below.

Blacklisters’ forthcoming second album, Adult, will be released 18 September via Smalltown America (and October 16th in North America via Handshake Inc. and Exploding In Sound Records).

Catch Blacklisters on tour:

18 September – Leeds – Brudenell Social Club
25 September – Oxford – The Wheatsheaf
26 September – London – Shacklewell Arms
3 October – Leicester – Firebug
4 October – Milton Keynes – Crauford Arms
10 October – Manchester – Gulliver’s
19 October – Sheffield – Corporation

*[] Waking up on Mondays can feel a lot like getting socked in the face, so start your week off right with a concussive new track from up-and-coming Leeds-based quartet Blacklisters. This cut of take-no-prisoners noise rock will grab you by the throat and bash your head against the wall. For those of us into that kind of thing, "I Knock Myself Out" is as good as it gets. Blacklisters may indeed knock themselves out, but they're certaintly not going down alone. This song says "See you in the pit." Or at least KO'd on the ground somewhere.

Stream the single below and buy the album on September 16 from Smalltown America in the UK and Handshake Inc/ Exploding in Sound on October 16.