Friday, June 26, 2015

Weed Share "Never Leave" Video + Tour Dates

[press release] On the heels of the release of their sophomore LP Running Back, Vancouver's Weed are back today to share the video for album single "Never Leave," directed by Andrea Lukic—bassist-vocalist for Vancouver punk band Nü Sensae.

Additionally, the band has announced the finalized locations of their upcoming tour, which sees the band on the road throughout July. Check out the video at Noisey (or below) and see below for all of Weed's upcoming tour dates.

Tour Dates:

7/2 – Milwaukee, WI - Lucky Dog
7/3 – Detroit, MI - Lo & Behold
7/4 - Kingston, ON - Artel
7/5 - Toronto, ON - SHIBGB'S
7/7 - Oklahoma City, OK - The Shop
7/8 - Kansas City, MO - Green Desert
7/9 - Omaha, NE - Sweatshop Gallery
7/10 - Sioux Falls, SD - Total Drag
7/11 - Fargo, ND - Skate park show TBA
7/12 - Minneapolis, MN - Luck Machine


"With a noisy, gazey sound that's gloriously murky and overdriven, Vancouver's Weed have everything it takes to be a part of the proud lineage of bands they are so obviously influenced by. A quick listen to a few songs from their second LP, Running Back, and names like Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine, and Dinosaur Jr. will spring to mind readily. Like those groups, Weed harness the power of abrasive guitars played very, very loud; they have pedals that make things go whoosh; they have a drummer who hits the cymbals like he's trying to shatter them into shards; and above all, they have the kind of dynamic energy that makes the music come alive.

There's no doubt that Weed are doing some serious excavation of the past, but they aren't just re-creating it in some lifeless, predictable fashion. They write songs that are memorable and hooky, sing and play them like every note really matters, and masterfully bowl over any reservations one might have about yet another band playing this same style. Similar to what Nothing did on their excellent album Guilty of Everything, Weed don't sound like hoary revivalists at all; instead, they sound like they are here to teach other revivalist bands how to do things the right way. Anyone looking for such a lesson can turn to the swooning "Muscles" and the deeply melancholic "They Don't Ask Me" to see how to make shoegaze that twangs the heartstrings real hard, look to the raucous "Never Leave" for tips on rocking out noise pop style without overdoing it, or check out "Meet Me with Ease" to learn how to sound exactly like the Swirlies.

Pick pretty much any song and you've got a masterclass on how to mash up brain-rattling noise, pillowy dream pop, and warped shoegaze into something exciting and new. Or into something that's basically as good as the music they are working so hard to revive -- that's the real trick and Weed pull it off on Running Back with ease." - Tim Sendra, AllMusic

Swirlies Share Rare Radio Session, Tour Dates, and More

[press release] This July, 1990s shoegaze icons Swirlies will embark on a two-week tour to celebrate 25 years with no official break-up, a new 7", and the anticipated vinyl reissue of their Blondertongue Audiobaton LP (1993), one of the most influential records from the early US shoegaze scene.

The lineup will include founding members Damon Tutunjian (guitar/vocals), Seana Carmody (guitar/vocals), and Andy Bernick (bass/keyboards). The shows will be Seana's first appearances with the band since 2001. Accompanying the original lineup will be longtime members Adam Pierce (Mice Parade) and Rob Laakso (Kurt Vile & the Violators) on drums and guitar respectively. Both have played in Swirlies since the mid-1990s. Elliott Malvas (You're Jovian) will join on additional guitar and keyboards.

A new, limited edition 7-inch record entitled Swirlies' Magic Strop: Orca Vs. Dragon, containing three tracks from UK radio sessions, will be released just prior to the tour on the band's own Sneaky Flute Empire label. The radio tracks are available to stream now over at SPIN and on SoundCloud (or below).

Also anticipated this summer is a Taang! Records vinyl reissue of their classic Blondertongue Audiobaton LP.

Swirlies formed in Cambridge, Massachusetts in the summer of 1990, and quickly established themselves as central players in the nascent US shoegaze scene (Lilys, Velocity Girl, etc.). Between 1990 and 1992, Swirlies released singles on Slumberland, Pop Narcotic, Simple Machines, and Nervous Records. In 1992, the band signed to Taang!, where they issued number of EPs and LPs, including the early singles compilation What To Do About Them EP (1992), the shoegaze classic Blondertongue Audiobaton LP (1993), the epic They Spent Their Wild Youthful Days In The Glittering World Of The Salons LP (1996), and the remix LP Strictly East Coast Sneaky Flute Music (1998). In the early 2000s, the band released The Yes Girls LP (2000) on its own Sneaky Flute Empire label and Cats of the Wild: Volume Two (2003) on Bubble Core. Since 2003, the band has continued to release cassettes, CDs, and downloadable albums (e.g., the Swirlies' Magic Strop series) on Sneaky Flute Empire.

The band's members have collaborated with a number of noteworthy artists. Damon Tutunjian produced Mew's first LP, co-wrote a number of their songs, and has performed (guitar, bass, vocals, and keyboards) on all of their recordings to date. Rob Laakso plays bass, guitar, and keyboards for Kurt Vile and the Violators. Adam Pierce has played with Mice Parade, HiM, Philistines Jr. and múm.


7.01 Hudson, NY @ The Half Moon
7.02 Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda's
7.03 Allston, MA @ Great Scott
7/04 Brooklyn, NY @ Silent Barn w/ Krill & Advaeta
7.05 Brooklyn, NY @ Baby's All Right
7.06 Washington, DC @Black Cat
7.07 Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar
7.08 Carrboro, NC @ Cat's Cradle
7.09 Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
7.10 Cincinnati, OH @ MOTR Pub
7.11 Indianapolis, IN @ Joyful Noise Recordings
7.12 Chicago, IL @ West Fest
7.13 Detroit, MI @ UFO Factory
7.14 Toronto, ON @ Drake Hotel
7.15 Montreal, QC @ Bar Le "Ritz" P.D.B.

The Jesus And Mary Chain Share "Reverence" from "Live at Barrowlands"

[press release] Three decades after The Jesus and Mary Chain first appeared on the scene in an explosion of noise, leather and attitude, it was announced that one of the most turbulent bands in pop history would be performing their classic debut album, ‘Psychocandy’, live for the first time in its entirety to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the release.

To mark this monumental occasion, on the 31st July, Demon Records are pleased to announce the release of The Jesus and Mary Chain ‘Live at Barrowlands’, a 10” + LP + CD deluxe edition which chronicles the band’s homecoming gig at Glasgow’s legendary Barrowlands in November 2014. Full track listing below.

The deluxe edition is housed in a 40-page hardback book, and includes the LP of the 'Pyschocandy' performance cut to 180-gram heavyweight black vinyl along with the 7-track prequel set containing key singles and fan favourites including 'April Skies', 'Head On' and the monstrous 'Reverence' cut to 10" by legendary engineer Noel Summerville (My Bloody Valentine / The White Stripes) exclusive to the package. Also included is a CD of the entire performance, a candid interview with Jim and William Reid and Alan McGee along with unseen photography from behind the scenes. A 1CD version of Psychocandy Live will also be made available separately.

As part of the ATP Season at the Roundhouse, Camden, the band will perform ‘Psychocandy’ in full on the 5th July for only the second time in the capital since their reformation.

More about Live at Barrowlands:

Their first show since 2008, The Mary Chain were as noisy and belligerent as ever as, both deafening and blinding, sound and light used as weapons against the mesmerised crowd, and as the smoke unfurled and great tides of feedback rose and crashed everyone present surrendered to ‘Psychocandy’ all over again.

Forming in East Kilbride in 1983, The Jesus and Mary Chain announced their arrival on the scene with a series of provocatively short gigs (average length: ten minutes). Staged by nascent scene-maker Alan McGee, brothers Jim and William Reid - aided by the brain-dead stomp of a young Bobby Gillespie on drums – set forth their stall of proto-shoegazing.

Released in 1985, ‘Psychocandy’ was a cocktail of speed and hallucinogens mixed with equal parts Beach Boys’ melody and Velvets’ minimalism. A combination of guitar feedback with traditional pop song structure proved influential on the forthcoming shoegaze genre and alternative rock in general influencing the likes of My Bloody Valentine, Spiritualized and more recently The Horrors.

Speaking about the 30th anniversary of 'Psychocandy', Jim Reid said, “Psychocandy was meant to be a kick in the teeth to all of those who stood in our way at the time, which was practically the whole music industry. In 1985 there were a great many people who predicted no more than a six-month life span for The Mary Chain.”

Track listing:

April Skies
Head On
Some Candy Talking
Psycho Candy
Up Too High
Upside Down
Just Like Honey
The Living End
Taste The Floor
The Hardest Walk
Cut Dead
In A Hole
Taste Of Cindy
Never Understand
Inside Me
Sowing Seeds
My Little Underground
You Trip Me Up
Something’s Wrong
It’s So Hard

Lushes Announce New Album "Service Industry" + Debut New Single "Low Hanging Fruit"

[press release] Quit your day job. What are the pros and cons? How long have you been there? How hard would your life be if you left it? Would you be afraid? Terrified as you approached that last day? Or would you step out onto that sidewalk the first moment you’re free from it, take out a deep breath, stare at the glassy dusk of the street and say, “Thank God”? What do you think?

Brooklyn based duo Lushes have thought about it and Lushes are confused too. Don’t you worry. They’re not looking for an answer. They have an album for you, though – Service Industry – out October 16, 2015.

The album is a rollercoaster through the maze of modern living. It was recorded and mixed by Sonic Youth’s long time engineer Aaron Mullan at Echo Canyon, during a period of intense money, work and life stress.

The sound also came out of the tension between the duo – with singer/guitarist James Ardery having grown up listening to punk and rap, and drummer Joel Myers raised on classical music. But the tension comes into balance with every song, ejecting the band’s music from the cultural hype machine out onto our daily lives.

Opener “Low Hanging Fruit” captures the feeling of hypnotic desire for empty instant gratification, with its angular guitar riffs and softly menacing bass line. “Rub Your Eyes” is an atmospheric and gorgeous meditation on breaking routine, finding peace and determination in finally answering hard life questions you’ve been avoiding for years.

“Circus,” featuring a hysterical saxophone solo by Zs front man Sam Hillmer, is a tongue in cheek commentary on emotional labor, on pretending to be happy while serving a farce – catering, corporate events, whatever. And album closer “Shed Weight” harks back to Lushes’ instinct to shift moods on a dime, with a lush, almost tender chorus swelling at the last minute to a brutal cacophony of industrial feedback, before ejecting the listener back into the world.

Service Industry extends the tensions begun with Lushes’ debut album, What Am I Doing. In their first album, the themes of anxiety were often held back in pursuit of serene moments, brief escapes from our mundane lives. With Service Industry, Lushes give you something more raw, more guitar-and-drum driven, more primal.

The album throws a wrench in things. It stands as a map of a crisis, a bleak and gorgeous snapshot of our world, and a question: why continue living like we do?

You can pre-order Service Industry now. Tour dates below.

Lushes - Service Industry (LP/CD/MP3):

01. Low Hanging Fruit
02. Bleach
03. Auction
04. Rub Your Eyes
05. You Only Have
06. Check
07. Circus
08. Hyperaware
09. Grey Tiles
10. Shed Weight


06.25 Boston, MA @ Out of the Blue Too Gallery
06.26 Utica, NY @ The Dev
06.27 Buffalo, NY @ Hoyt House
06.28 Pittsburgh, PA @ Brillo Box
06.30 Detroit, MI @ Kelly's bar
07.01 Chicago, IL @ Situations
07.02 St Louis, MO @ FOAM
07.03 Columbia MO @ Cafe Berlin
07.04 Carbondale, IL @The Swamp
07.05 Little Rock, AR @ Stickyz
07.07 Hattiesburg, MS @ The Tavern
07.08 New Orleans, LA @ Gasa Gasa
07.09 Birmingham, AL @ Mono Bahm
07.10 Athens, GA @ Go Bar
07.11 Charlotte, NC @ Snug Harbor
07.12 Durham, NC @ Terrace Heater House
07.13 Harrisonburg, VA @ The Golden Pony
07.14 Baltimore, MD @ TBA
07.15 Washington DC @ TBA
07.16 Philadelphia, PA @ The Pharmacy

"... unpredictable... a more riffy and less serene Lushes sound than we heard on What Am I Doing." - Stereogum

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Failure Streaming "The Heart Is A Monster" In Full via Entertainment Weekly

[press release] Failure's highly anticipated album, The Heart Is A Monster (due out June 30 via INresidence), is streaming now via Entertainment Weekly (or below). A video for the album’s first single, “Hot Traveler,” debuted last week (HERE).

Alternative Press said the new album “is not only a stark reminder of why the band have been so influential but it also underscores their status as modern trailblazers.” Rolling Stone described The Heart Is A Monster as “a sprawling, 18 track voyage that… brilliantly picks up from where Fantastic Planet left off” and Kerrang echoes that sentiment, also declaring the 18-track release “a brilliant record” and adding “it’s also a victory they’ve fought hard for.”

The band kicks off a lengthy summer tour with a June 30 in-store at Amoeba Hollywood, other stops include Milwaukee’s Summerfest and the Ottawa Bluesfest. The band joins Hum for a handful of co-headlining dates in mid-August.

Pre-orders for The Heart Is A Monster are available now via iTunes and include a pair of instant downloads: “Hot Traveler” and “Mulholland Dr”. The album is also available via Pledge Music and Amazon.

Failure on tour:

June 30 Los Angeles, CA Amoeba Hollywood
July 2 Lawrence, KS Liberty Hall
July 4 Milwaukee, WI Summerfest
July 5 Cleveland, OH The Grog Shop
July 7 Columbus, OH LC Pavilion Amphitheatre *
July 8 Lansing, MI Common Ground Festival
July 9 Cincinnati, OH 20th Century Theatre
July 10 Pittsburgh, PA Stage AE *
July 12 Ottawa, ON Ottawa Bluesfest
July 14 Quebec City, QC Quebec City International Summer Festival
July 16 Portland, ME Asylum
July 17 Syracuse, NY The Westcott Theatre
July 18 Westbury, NY The Space at Westbury
July 21 Nashville, TN 3rd & Lindsley
July 23 New Orleans, LA Republic New Orleans
July 25 Austin, TX Emo’s
August 7 Louisville, KY Mercury Ballroom
August 8 Atlanta, GA The Wrecking Ball
August 9 Charlotte, NC Neighborhood Theatre **
August 11 Washington DC 930 Club **
August 13 New York, NY Webster Hall **
August 14 Philadelphia, PA Electric Factory **
August 15 Boston, MA Royal Nightclub **
August 18 Toronto, ON Lee’s Palace
August 21 Chicago, IL Metro
October 25 Sacramento, CA Aftershock Festival

* - w/ Jane’s Addiction
** - Co-headline dates with Hum


"Well EIS readers, this could have been the end for this blog... we're walking a thin line of existence. I'm unbelievably heartbroken to say that after writing a MASSIVE and super detailed "Mid Year Spectacular" for the site that I was most definitely prouder of than I should have been... but for some unknown, ungodly, soul crushing reason, the post up and disappeared. I didn't accidentally delete it. I didn't hit the "back" key while it was open or jump to a new page mid save... or any of that bullshit. There was a solid month or so of careful work, combing over everything to make sure not a stone was unturned, posting links to follow bands, and links to both stream and buy each album. There was a nice intro (that had none of the stinging bitterness of this one... and was far far more positive, my apologies). I was ready to give a voice to the records you've yet to hear (and some of those you have). I was ready to explain why you should care, not about one album, but fifty of them while listing over a hundred other records with streamable links that are well worth your time. It was going to be glorious, at least in my eyes... but I don't have the time or energy to start from scratch.

While I'm sure the mid year report wouldn't have had any sort of profound or groundbreaking effect on listeners everywhere, EIS (the blog) has always been my personal way to contribute and to a degree counteract the things I see and read every day in the music press. It's always been my avenue to rally against the monotony of consensus. A place where the band's "story" doesn't matter. We're concerned with the music... that's all.

So... here's a no-frills, list of records I think you should check out. No descriptions. Not a whole lot of links (but some because let us not forget, listening is key). No nice album art. Just a stupid list. Despite that, I still hope you will check some of these out. Maybe pick a few you've never heard and listen throughout the days, weeks, or months ahead. There is a lot of great music being made and this list covers a lot of ground, so feel free to try and find your favorite. Everything is in alphabetical order because we're just too deep into this to rank anything (hurt feelings are no fun). It's all worth checking out and I hope you enjoy something new. If I missed something, I apologize... it was probably on the original post. Good grief, fuck racism, and thanks for reading." - DG

:::::::::::::::::::: ESSENTIALS (the top fifty) ::::::::::::::::::::

Astral Swans - All My Favorite Singers Are Willie Nelson [Madic] || [listen]
Ava Luna - Infinite House [Western Vinyl] || [listen]
Beauty Pill - Beauty Pill Describes Things As They Are [Butterscotch] || [listen]
Big Neck Police - Sleight of Time [JMC Aggregate] || [listen]
Broken Water - Wrought [Night-People] || [listen]
Built To Spill - Untethered Moon [Warner Bros.] || [listen]
Cherubs - 2 Ynfynyty [Brutal Panda] || [listen]
Clean Girls - Despite You [Accidental Guest] || [listen]
Cloakroom - Further Out [Run For Cover] || [listen]
Cop - Render [self released] || [listen]
Creative Adult - Ring Around The Room [Run For Cover] || [listen]
Dead Tenants - Void [self released] || [listen]
Dirty Dishes - Guilty [EIS] || [listen]
Elvis Depressedly - New Alhambra [Run For Cover] || [listen]
Eskimeaux - O.K. [Double Double Whammy] || [listen]
The Fall - Sub-Lingual Tablet [Cherry Red] || [listen]
Flagland / Washer - Split 7" [EIS/ECB&B] || [listen]
Geronimo! - Buzz Yr Girlfriend: Vol. 4 - Why Did You Leave Me? [EIS] || [listen]
Girl Band - The Early Years [Rough Trade] || [listen... but really, this performance]
Gnarwhal - Shinerboy [Flannel Gurl/EIS] || [listen]
Helvetia - A Dot Running For The Dust (The Lost Sessions) [Gladness Production] || [listen]
Institute - Catharsis [Sacred Bones] || [listen]
Krill - A Distant Fist Unclenching [EIS/Double Double Whammy] || [listen]
Lady Bones - Dying [Midnight Werewolf] || [listen]
Leapling - Vacant Page [Inflated/EIS] || [listen]
Lightning Bolt - Fantasy Empire [Thrill Jockey] || [listen]
Lost Boy ? - Canned [PaperCup Music] || [listen]
LVL UP - Dark Sided Stuff [Double Double Whammy] || [listen]
Obnox - Know America [Ever-Never] || [listen]
Palm - Ostrich Vacation [JMC Aggregate] || [listen]
Pile - You're Better Than This [EIS] || [listen]
Pope - Fiction [Community] || [listen]
Retox - Beneath California [Epitaph] || [listen]
Robert Pollard - Faulty Superheroes [GBV Inc] || [listen]
Rye Pines - Dead Ocean [Bob] || [listen]
Sauna Youth - Distractions [Upset the Rhythm] || [listen]
Screaming Females - Rose Mountain [Don Giovanni] || [listen]
Shilpa Ray - Last Year's Savage [Northern Spy] || [listen]
Speedy Ortiz - Foil Deer [Carpark] || [listen]
Swings - Detergent Hymns [Quiet Year] || [listen]
Thee Oh Sees - Mutilator Defeated At Last [Castle Face] || [listen]
Thomas Quinttus - Thank God For The Time Machine [Syndical] || [listen]
Torche - Restarter [Relapse] || [listen]
Tropical Trash - UFO Rot [Load] || [listen]
Ty Segall Band - Live In San Francisco [Castle Face] || [listen]
Vomitface - Another Bad Year [Boxing Clever] || [listen]
Wand - Golem [In The Red] || [listen]
Weed - Running Back [Lefse] || [listen]
Wire - Wire [Pink Flag] || [listen]
Yazan - Howlin' [Shoulder Tap] || [listen]

:::::::::::::::::::: FURTHER LISTENING ::::::::::::::::::::

A Place to Bury Strangers - Transfixiation [Dead Oceans] || [listen]
Action Bronson - Mr. Wonderful [Vice] || [listen]
Advaeta - Death and the Internet [Fire Talk] || [listen]
Anasazi - Nasty Witch Rock [Toxic State] || [listen]
Beth Israel - The Loaner [Dull Tools] || [listen]
The Blind Shake - Fly Right [Slovenly] || [listen]
California X - Nights in the Dark [Don Giovanni] || [listen]
Cancers - Missed b/w Helpless [Debt Offensive] || [listen]
Ceremony - The L-Shaped Man [Matador] || [listen]
Chandos - Rats in Your Bed [Carpark] || [listen]
Chastity Belt - Time To Go Home [Hardly Art] || [listen]
Cigarette - Chapel Sounds [JMC Aggregate] || [listen]
Creepoid - Cemetery Highrise Slum [Collect] || [listen]
CROSSS - Lo [Telephone Explosion] || [listen]
Crown Larks - Blood Dancer [Spacelung/Landbreathing] || [listen]
Culture Abuse - Spray Paint The Dog [6131] || [listen]
Czarface - Every Hero Needs a Villain [Brick] || [listen]
Damaged Bug - Cold Hot Plumbs [Castle Face] || [listen]
EULA - Wool Sucking [Famous Swords] || [listen]
Ex-Cult - Cigarette Machine [Castle Face] || [listen]
Failure - The Heart is a Monster [INresidence] || [listen] *late addition
Falling Stacks - No Wives [Battle Worldwide] || [listen]
Future Death - Cryptids [Bloodmoss] || [listen]
Ghostface Killah & BADBADNOTGOOD - Sour Soul [Lex] || [listen]
The I.L.Y's - I've Always Been Good at True Love [self released] || [listen]
Jaill - Brain Cream [Burger] || [listen]
JEFF The Brotherhood - Wasted on the Dream [Infinity Cat] || [listen]
June Gloom - Sad Summer 2013 // Dog Days [self released] || [listen]
Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp A Butterfly [Top Dawg Entertainment] || [listen]
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Quarters [Castle Face] || [listen]
Kinski - 7 (or 8) [Kill Rock Stars] || [listen]
Kuroma - Kuromarama [Votiv] || [listen]
Mail The Horse - Planet Gates [Sexual Decade] || [listen]
Marching Church - This World Is Not Enough [Sacred Bones] || [listen]
Melvins - The Bulls & The Bees + Electroretard [reissue] [Ipecac] || [listen]
Menace Beach - Ratworld [Memphis Industries] || [listen]
METZ - II [Sub Pop] || [listen]
Mew - + - [Play It Again Sam] || [listen]
Moon Duo - Shadow of the Sun [Sacred Bones] || [listen]
Mutoid Man - Bleeder [Sargent House] || [listen]
NEEDS - NEEDS [File Under: Music] || [listen]
No Joy - More Faithful [Mexican Summer] || [listen]
Passenger Peru - Light Places [Fleeting Youth] || [listen]
Pill - Pill [Dull Tools] || [listen]
Pinecones - Sings For You Now [re-release] [Arrowhawk] || [listen]
Pocket Hercules - Pocket Hercules [Seagreen] || [listen]
POW! - Fight Fire [Castle Face] || [listen]
Really Big Pinecone - Really Really Big Pinecone [self released] || [listen]
Red Sea - In The Salon [re-release] [Bayonet] || [listen]
Rozwell Kid - Good Graphics [Infinity Cat] || [listen]
Sea Cycles - Ground & Air [Other People] || [listen]
The Sediment Club - B Bakery [JMC Aggregate] || [listen]
Shores - Precedents [self released] || [listen]
Sleater-Kinney - No Cities To Love [Sub Pop] || [listen]
Spectres - Dying [Sonic Cathedral] || [listen]
Spook The Herd - Freaks b/w Fermented // Spook The Herd/Hellrazor Split Cassette [Seagreen] || [listen]
Spray Paint - Punters on a Barge [Homeless] || [listen]
Sun Hotel - Rational Expectations [Community] || [listen]
Swervedriver - I Wasn't Born to Lose You [Cobraside] || [listen]
Telepathic - Powers of Ten [self released] || [listen]
Ty Segall - Mr. Face EP [Famous Class] || [listen]
Um Are - Child Prodigy [self released] || [listen]
Viet Cong - Viet Cong [Jagjaguwar] || [listen]
Warehouse - Tesseract [re-release] [Bayonet] || [listen]
Wildhoney - Sleep Through It [Deranged] || [listen]
Zula/annex - Water Pressure [Inflated] || [listen]

Monday, June 22, 2015

EIS Review: Mail the Horse "Planet Gates"

Mail the Horse
Planet Gates
Sexual Decade; 2015
Review by Eric Gagne

Mail the Horse works. They are putting in the time, and are ready to strike out into the realm of true road-dogs. It’s a level of purity few are able to ascend to for a variety of reasons no one who hasn’t made that jump should be ashamed of. One thing that is paramount however is the strength of the board with which you might test the surf. Mail the Horse could play for days without repeating a song; each one as thick and deep as the last. Theirs is a hand-hewn longboard, smoothed by every wave, made light with the deftness of their touch. They’re students of sound; well versed in philosophy and tone. This is what sets them apart from the number of bands out there doing that classic rock thing. They are so legitimately living this life, that I have posited two different explanations:

1. Some of Keith Richards’ blood, during any number of his infamous transfusions, was misplaced, and in a freak accident, each member of Mail the Horse, while infants, were exposed. Then, after puberty, and with the correct proportion of drugs, sex, alcohol, and rock and roll to react to Mr. Richards’ blood, their true destinies manifested; or

2. On a cross Canadian tour in 1970, their bus went off a cliff and they were lodged in a freezing river, later to be recovered and revived by the government with little explanation, and set back on the road.

Regardless of which of these may be true, these gentlemen might come off a bit mad; a bit out of their minds. A bit sweaty, and frantic; a bit out of control. This is a side effect of knowing your true state of being exists while in the middle of a song, on the road, or on stage. Downtime feels like madness, and music is the ultimate salve. Healing comes in three part harmony, with a band fueled by vacuum tubes, country music, and insomnia.

Planet Gates is their new record, and it is a heaping motherfucking mountain. You don’t have to climb it though; you start on the top, and you run down it full speed, laughing, heart racing, and with tears streaking across your face in the cool wind. The album starts strong, with “Best I Can”, a mellow gallop, hopeful and strident. The bass skips along the water like a hundred deftly thrown stones, each new ripple struck strong and true. It fades out like a boss, and what I like to think of as the real opener takes over, “Holy Motel Magic”. It features the complete sound of Mail the Horse: drums conceived partway between rhythm and blues and Big Brother and the Holding Company; swaggering guitar; piano and organ; pedal steel; heavy bass; and those killer vocals. Then you’re off to work with the band: each song buoyed by a distant familiarity, and definitive heart and soul. Their work is substantial and far from over.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Gnarwhal Debut "Have Fun Tomorrow From Ozzy/Stella" via Stereogum

[] Nashville’s Gnarwhal are an ambitious band; using a single guitar and drums, the duo harbor a sound so tenacious that its rhythmic technicality is easily overlooked due to the sheer power of their overall sound. Gnarwhal’s most recent release came in the form of a Community/Hex Records split alongside their Southern brethren Woozy and Ex-Breathers, as well as Connecticut’s Ovlov (RIP). And recently, the band announced they’ll drop a new LP at the end of June on DIY-mainstay labels Flannel Gurl and Exploding In Sound. The album’s delightfully titled debut single, “Anal Riffage,” dropped a few weeks ago, and today, we’re premiering “Have Fun Tomorrow From Ozzy/Stella.” The song is an origin story of sorts, and Gnarwhal’s guitarist and vocalist Chappy Hull told us a bit about the positive motivations behind his just-barely distinguishable lyrics:

"When the other two members of Gnarwhal quit a week before a five-week-long tour, I went to drummer Tyler Coburn’s for five days straight and figured out how to do it just the two of us. This was the second song we ever wrote as a two-piece and it’s pretty different than it was back then. It’s named after Tyler’s dogs.

“Have Fun Tomorrow From Ozzy/Stella” is about looking at your life and thinking you’ve done something wrong but in reality just being too harsh on yourself. It makes me think if you’re always gonna have fun tomorrow every day will be a good day."

Listen to “Have Fun Tomorrow From Ozzy/Stella” below. Shinerboy is out 6/23 via Flannel Gurl (vinyl)/Exploding In Sound (cassette).

Sea Cycles Stream Full Length Debut "Ground & Air" via PopMatters

[] The Jacksonville, Florida band Sea Cycles is an interesting case as far as music that’s been called “synth-pop” goes. Whereas the regular practitioners of that style typically place vocals at the center—albeit usually through a gamut of vocal processors and effects—this quartet’s music is primarily instrumental, evoking the stylistics of post-rock. Both “Your Mind is a Sundial” and “Fiber Optic Cables To Antarctica” are close sonic kin to the music of Mogwai, the former sounding like a potential B-side to 2001’s Rock Action. Introspective in disposition and pensive in mood, Ground & Air is an instrumental set that conjures up vivid mental landscapes, as the best instrumental music is in wont to do.

Sea Cycles says to PopMatters about their new album: “Since the beginning of our band, our music has really been themed around connectivity. Especially the subconscious kind. For this album, we focused on the idea of global connectivity. The idea that with all the new communication technology in the world, the earth has grown a nervous system. Literally, not figuratively. It’s hard to see it from our perspective as being one cell on the planet, but we are on a living organism, and humans are building a nervous system. When a terror attack happens in Nigeria, and people on the other side of the world are in hysteria and mourning within hours, that’s a global nervous system working effectively. Our system transfers emotions as quickly as it does data.”

Ground & Air is out on 9 June via Other People.

Upcoming Sea Cycles tour dates:

6/19 — Mansfield, OH @ Relax, It’s Just Coffee
6/21 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Peoples Warehouse
6/22 — Richmond, VA @ Houdan House
6/24 — Brooklyn, NY @ Kings County Saloon
6/25 — Portsmouth, NH @ The Red Door
6/26 — Worcester, MA @ Distant Castle
6/27 — Montreal, QC @ Turbohaus
6/28 — Toronto, ON @ The Smiling Buddah
6/30 — Grand Rapids, MI @ The Quad
7/01 — Kalamazoo, MI @ No Fun House
7/02 — Chicago, IL @ The Abbey
7/03 — Urbana, IL @ Audiofeed
7/04 — Dayton, OH @ Blind Bobs
7/05 — Columbus, OH @ Brothers Drake

Quick Notes: Blacklisters, Lightning Bolt, The Blind Shake, Cancers, & Weaves

*[] Blacklisters are set to release their second album later this year – but you can get a taste here on The Leeds quartet – Billy Mason Wood (vocals), Dan Beesley (guitar), Owen Griffiths (bass) and Alistair Stobbart (drums) – will release Adult in the autumn through Smalltown America.

"Cash Cow" is the first song to be released from the album. Says Mason Wood: "We, Blacklisters have finally written a song so commercially viable, that money will literally fall out of the sky and into our eyes."

Check it out below.

*[] In this epic interview with Lightning Bolt, Karrie K hangs with drummer Brian Chippendale in their tour van and talks their formative years, their buds Les Savy Fav, working with Bjork and meeting David Hasselhoff & Clint Eastwood at Coachella.

*[] Aside from documenting the seemingly unending stream of punchy psych-garage flowing out of California lately, Castle Face have been nabbing some trash acts from outside the left coast for their Live in San Francisco series of LPs. The OBN IIIs entry from last year was an eybrown burner, and now comes one from The Blind Shake. Recorded in 2013, it captures the stomping Minneapolis trio storming the stage right on the cusp of their recent run of smashing garage-surf albums on labels like Goner, Slovenly and Swami.

The band just recently wrapped up a tour as back-up band for Swami label head and Rocket From The Crypt main man, John Reis, doing wild surf instrumentals as, yup, Swami John Reis and the Blind Shake. Now they can let this upcoming excellent live record buy them a little time before they no doubt dish up another collection of growling garage for ya.

Check out the track premiere of the questionably titled "I’m Not An Animal," and look for the Live in San Fancisco album on Castle Face, August 10.

*[] Cancers is a Georgia-based duo made up of Lenny Miller and Ella Kaspar. They make sludge-y, textured music, blending the heaviness and drawling vocals of shoegaze with bluegrass and weird electronics—imagine a Southern version of The Jesus & Mary Chain with more grime and synths. This song, "Helpless," is from an upcoming seven-inch with Debt Offensive Records, out June 9. It's a lo-fi recording but sounds huge, and the whole thing feels like a breath of fresh air in 2015. Pre-order the seven-inch HERE.

*[] Is Toronto the newest epicenter of enthralling pop music? Last year, the city churned out the debut LP from romantic pioneers Alvvays, and now we’ve got a brand new track from Weaves, whose particularly effervescent brand of pop is super dizzying and intoxicating. Listening to “Tick,” the band’s first new song since last year’s self-titled EP, it becomes clear that this curious quartet can fashion earworms out of what appears to be pure sonic mishmash. The stuttering guitar lines sound like kazoos. Jasmyn Burke’s vocals twist around their own tails. And the rhythm section is tight. “Tick” recalls past T.O. pop moldbreakers Broken Social Scene (“Handjobs For The Holidays” mostly) injected with a squirrelly, summery flair that’ll easily outlast the season. Listen below, and check the band’s upcoming tour dates HERE.

Failure Debut "Mulholland Drive" via Rolling Stone

[press release] Failure, who are set to release The Heart Is A Monster on June 30, premiere the soaring, artfully crafted song, “Mulholland Drive,” via Rolling Stone.

Ken Andrews also speaks with the magazine in an accompanying interview about the eagerly awaited follow-up to Fantastic Planet as well as their touring plans.

Pre-orders for The Heart Is A Monster are available now via iTunes and include a pair of instant downloads: “Hot Traveler” and “Mulholland Drive”. The album is also available via and Amazon.

Failure on tour:

July 2 Lawrence, KS Liberty Hall
July 3 Joliet, IL Mojoes
July 4 Milwaukee, WI Summerfest
July 5 Cleveland, OH The Grog Shop
July 7 Columbus, OH LC Pavilion Amphitheatre *
July 8 Lansing, MI Common Ground Festival
July 9 Cincinnati, OH 20th Century Theatre
July 10 Pittsburgh, PA Stage AE *
July 12 Ottawa, ON Ottawa Bluesfest
July 14 Quebec City, QC Quebec City International Summer Festival
July 16 Portland, ME Asylum
July 17 Syracuse, NY The Westcott Theatre
July 18 Westbury, NY The Space at Westbury
July 21 Nashville, TN 3rd & Lindsley
July 23 New Orleans, LA Republic New Orleans
July 25 Austin, TX Emo's
August 8 Atlanta, GA The Wrecking Ball
October 25 Sacramento, CA Aftershock Festival

* - with Jane’s Addiction

Monday, June 1, 2015

EIS Review: Joanna Gruesome "Peanut Butter"

Joanna Gruesome 
Peanut Butter
Slumberland Records; 2015
Review by Corey Sustarich

Weird Sister had me waiting at the ready for the May 11th reveal of Peanut Butter released on Slumberland Records, Fortuna POP! and Turnstile. The catchiness of these songs is second only to their controlled discordances. The general idea of their first EP holds up in this new release, but these guys are doing it louder than ever. They jam pack every fleeting moment with feedback and pop. Here's ten songs in twenty-two minutes and they open up screeching and fast with "Last Year." This song fluxes from a whizzbang attack right into to a pair of catchy hooks exemplifying Joanna Gruesome's take on songwriting, which seems to be one of abrupt dynamic shift. Moments of fierce yelling, bludgeoning drums, and distorted strings cool off and turn into gorgeous vocal harmonies backed by those same banging drums and fast guitars. Shifts from pop hooks to furious outbursts happen quickly, like in "Honestly Do Yr Worst," or sectionally, like in "There is No Function Stacy." Half pop, half noise, and by the time comfort is about to sink in Joanna turns Gruesome and back again. However, when these guys hit their hooks they're the kind that stick with a wonderful sense of familiarity. "Crayon" feels like a long lost Pixies track folded over perfectly with fuzzed out guitar, high hat flourishes, and ends noisy as hell. The songs hurl themselves forward at an average rate of two minutes per song; it doesn't stop except to let the honest and potent lyrics come into focus. Lines like "What the hell am I supposed to do?" (found in the previously mentioned fifth track) heave with vex and wit. The lyrics explain stupid love, confusion and disillusionment and are accordingly titled with personal pronouns and intentional typos. Vocal harmonies dot the album and give their voices and lyrics a well-deserved push to the front and center. The band nails the vocal melody pop hooks on track seven, "Jerome (Liar)," midway through the song. Wait for them. They rule. "Psykick Espionage" slams ya in the guts with what Slumberland Records labeled as an "experiment in combining hyper melodic pop music with sonic violence." They end the album with some ripping, curious, melodic, high gain guitar stuff. It's fast. It's loud. It's catchy.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Quick Notes: Lady Bones, Cancers & Vomitface

*[] "To call Lady Bones a rock band would be a gross oversimplification. The Boston three-piece fuses the bleakness of post-punk with the raw energy of grunge but ties it all together with a melodic sensibility that’s rare amongst bands who achieve this level of gloriously squalid noise. “Botch,” the new single from their debut full-length, Dying, is a case-in-point. The song seems to grow out of the ground like a weed towards the sun, goaded along by Sean Gilston’s pained, gritty vocals. All of the sudden, the guitars start to grind against thrashing drums, pushed to the point of near-collapse. It’s a rabid hound of a tune, and you can hear it below."

Dying is out June 30 via Midnight Werewolf.

*[] "I’ve always found it interesting that cancer is both a horrific disease and an astrological sign — one of those weird etymological quirks of the English language that we’ve all grown up with and paid little mind to. Either sense of the word could be used to describe Cancers the band — “Missed” metastasizes in your mind and is hard to get out, and it’s also unpredictable, insecure, and temperamental. The new single from the Athens, GA-based duo represents a break from what they’ve done before, a shift away from the more straight-forward grunge of their debut album, Fatten The Leeches, in favor of a noisier and more chaotic direction. Punishing drum machine loops give it a cavernous feeling, Lenny Miller’s voice reflects back on itself and paints a picture of abject loneliness. It’s distorted and messy; a gnarly, twisted thing that heaves around with little regard for form, interested more in function. It’s really great. Listen below.

Cancers’ new 7″ “Missed b/w Helpless” is out 6/9 on Debt Offensive Records.

*[] "Some fulfill their dharma by writing long-winded prose, and others engage in day-long meditation practices. But for Brooklyn/Jersey City band Vomitface, they prefer to create head-banging, sway-inducing, noisy sludge-pop.

In the new video for their single "Never Make It," the punk trio soundtrack a yoga class. As students go through their somewhat robotic motions, frontman Jared Micah, drummer Preetma Singh, and bassist Sam Palumbo remain somewhat irreverent as they layer elements of hardcore, metal, and garage rock.

"I was greatly inspired by Roy Andersson's combination of images and ideas and wanted to craft a commentary on the spiritual aspect of yoga, which has now become a popular fitness technique, stripped of, for the most part, what its purpose has originally been for centuries," says director Shruti Ganguly.

The band's imminent sophomore EP, Another Bad Year (streaming in full over at Stereogum), showcases the band's new sonic direction. With tighter instrumentals and a more lyrical, melodic focus, the five-track compilation is definitely worth a spot on your playlist."

Jaill Ready "Brain Cream" for June on Burger Records

[press release] Burger Records is excited to announce the release of Jaill’s new album, Brain Cream, on June 30th. About six years and exactly one L since the Milwaukee act (then called) Jail put out There’s No Sky (Oh My My) on Burger Records, the Great Lakes surf rock outfit has returned to the roster of its first label—following two well-received records on Sub Pop.

Since the release of …No Sky (and 2012’s Traps, really), only frontman Vincent Kircher remains. New drummer Josh Evert—who fronts The Fatty Acids—preserves the beats. Jonathan Mayer, who’s the lead singer and guitarist of Surgeons In Heat, shines in a supporting role with a heft of bouncing bass lines and warm falsetto harmonies. Former John The Savage bandleader Mike Skorcz unabashedly excels with a steady stream of stripped down keyboard parts to add auxiliary depth.

The quartet convened at Louie Lino-run Resonate Studios in Austin, Texas in December 2013 and emerged almost two weeks later with Jaill’s most mature, thorough, and fully realized effort to date. Hear it on Brain Cream lead single “Got An F,” which was premiered by The A.V. Club today.


1. Just A Lovely Day
2. Getaway
3. Got An F
4. Slides And Slips
5. Symptoms
6. Change Reaction
7. Picking My Bones
8. Little Messages
9. Draggin
10. Pointy Fingers
11. Chocolate Poison Time
12. Look At You
13. Sweet Tooth Lovers (Bonus Track)


Thu. July 9 - Indianapolis, IN @ Joyful Noise
Sat. July 11 - Columbus, OH @ 4th & 4th Fest
Sun. July 12 - Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar (upstairs)
Tue. July 14 - Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie
Wed. July 15 - Brooklyn, NY @ Shea Stadium
Thu. July 16 - Cambridge, MA @ Lilypad

Blacklisters Join Smalltown America Records + Ready "Adult" LP For Fall

A message from Smalltown America Records...

"We are delighted and humbled to announce that Blacklisters are joining the Smalltown America family.

Over the past few years, the Leeds quartet have deservedly earned their reputation as one of the UK's most confrontational and aggressive live acts. We are thrilled to welcome them to the label.

Forthcoming record 'Adult' is a typically uncompromising affair, riddled with the band's trademark, dark humour. Produced by Hookworms' Matt Johnson the album will be available this Autumn on all formats via our eStore. [EIS ed. note: we've heard this album and I can say it is without a doubt on the year's absolute best records].

To whet the appetite, check out their video for 'Clubfoot by Kasabian' from the first record "BLKLSTRS".