Friday, January 12, 2018

3 Songs: On Repeat

Corrosion Of Conformity – “Wolf Named Crow” (After 12 years, vocalist/guitarist Pepper Keenan returns to the fold, joining Woody Weatherman, Mike Dean, and Reed Mullin for C.O.C.’s tenth album, No Cross No Crown, out now on Nuclear Blast.  Also returning is longtime producer John Custer who directs the band away from the hardcore punk roots of their last album and back to the groove-oriented metallic Southern rock sound of their breakout 90’s albums, Deliverance and Blind.  Catch them on tour now.)     

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – “Little Thing Gone Wild” (After a tumultuous 5 year hiatus that included a member of the band suffering and recovering from a brain surgery, the veteran California rock trio - consisting of Peter Hayes, Robert Levon Been and Leah Shapiro – return triumphantly with their seventh album, Wrong Creatures, out today via Vagrant.  The band continues to perfect their bluesy brand of psychedelic garage-rock with rumbling riffs, sharp hooks and thick atmosphere.  Also, be sure to catch them on tour this winter.)

shame – “Concrete” (The London quintet are set to release their highly-anticipated debut album, Songs of Praise, out today on Dead Oceans.  Full of grit and gloom, driving post-punk rhythms and catchy, call and response hooks; the young band creates a wizened sound worthy of praise that recalls The Fall with a modern edge and energy for a very promising debut.)  

Friday, January 05, 2018

Free Friday: Rex Apple - Barrett School

Released today on Dayton’s Gas Daddy Go! Records is Barrett School, the debut album from Rex Apple, a new folk-pop duo consisting of Jesse Remnant of Human Cannonball and Kyle Melton of Smug Brothers.  The 8-song album – a concept album involving a prep-school - is available as a pay-what-you-want download and as a very limited edition CD.
With a base of strummy acoustic guitars and layers of vocal harmonies, the duo creates a subtle yet sparkling sound that focuses on 60’s folk and pop with the inclusion of psychedelic elements like on the starry-eyed standout, “Keep Your Head Straight”.  Other standouts include the British Invasion-inspired melodies of “Glass Slippers” and the piano-led Beatles-esque “Gimme That Feeling”. 
Stream Barrett School by Rex Apple here: 

Friday, December 22, 2017

TOP 10 ALBUMS of 2017

Berwanger - The Star Invaders (Good Land Records)

Billy Corgan - Ogilala (Martha's Music/BMG)

Dori FreemanLetters Never Read (Blue Hens Music)

LionessTime Killer (Magnaphone Records)

Nova Collective - The Further Side (Metal Blade Records)

Power TripNightmare Logic (Southern Lord Records)

PrimusThe Desaturating Seven (ATO Records) 

Moses Sumney – Aromanticism (Jagjaguwar Records)

Wolf ParadeCry, Cry, Cry (Sub Pop)

Thursday, December 21, 2017

TOP 5 EPs of 2017

Radar StateRadar State (3-song debut EP from the new band featuring Matt and Jim of The Get Up Kids, Josh of The Anniversary and Adam of The Gadjits)

The WhiffsTake A Whiff  (High Dive Records)

Nothing Left – Destroy And Rebuild (Facedown Records)

BleachedCan You Deal? (Dead Oceans)

Rolling Blackouts C.F.The French Press (Sub Pop)

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

TOP 5 REISSUES of 2017

Fourth Of JulyOn The Plains 10th Anniversary (High Dive Records) -

One King DownBloodlust Revenge 20th Anniversary (Equal Vision Records) –

Sepultura The Roadrunner Albums 1985-1996 (Roadrunner Records) -

Singles Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Legacy Recordings) -

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

One King Down – Bloodlust Revenge 20th Anniversary

One King Down was an Albany, NY based straight edge band that helped usher in the metallic hardcore sound of the mid-‘90s along with Earth Crisis and Strife.  With their groove-heavy sound and mosh-worthy rhythms alongside vocalist Rob Fusco’s vegan straight edge ideals, their cult classic EP, Bloodlust Revenge was released to great praise in 1997 on Equal Vision Records.  
In celebration of its 20th anniversary, the band and label are reissuing the classic EP on vinyl for the first time in years.  Additionally, it has been remastered from the original recordings and pressed on orange colored vinyl.  Also available is an exact replica of the 1995 Bloodlust Revenge 2-track demo cassette, limited to only 100 copies with hand-made cover as well as newly printed shirts and sweatshirts with old school designs.   
One of my favorite shows of all time was One King Down and Brother’s Keeper in Dayton during the summer of 1997.  I look forward to spinning this vinyl and reliving those 20 year old memories all over again! 
Stream Bloodlust Revenge here: 

Friday, December 15, 2017

3 Songs: On Repeat

U2 – “You’re The Best Thing About Me” (After touring this year in celebration of the 30th anniversary of their landmark album, The Joshua Tree, the arena-rock veterans recently released their 14th album, Songs Of Experience, a companion piece to 2014’s Songs of Innocence.  Out now on Interscope Records, the new album finds the band both in their lane with their trademark brand of soaring, emotionally-charged rock and in an experimental mood as well, with contributions from Haim and Kendrick Lamar and the addition of glossy synths and hip-hop inspired beats.  The result is a U2 album that sounds of the moment yet retains the nostalgic pull of the previous albums.)    

Eagle Johnson & Clean Machine – “My Best Girl” (Out next week is Tennessee Beach, the debut album from Nashville roots rockers Eagle Johnson & Clean Machine.  Recalling Dr. Dog’s ramshackle Beatles-esque melodies, Johnson incorporates wide-scoping influences such as classic reggae and pop singer Kimbra - whose bandmates Timon Martin and Stevie McQuinn Jr. make guest contributions – alongside blues, folk and psychedelic garage-rock for genre-defiant sound on their very promising debut.)

Neil Young + Promise of the Real – “Already Great” (Backed again by Willie Nelson’s sons Lukas and Micah and their band, Promise of the Real; Neil Young recently released his 39th album titled, The Visitor, via Reprise Records.  Young is in spirited, politically-charged form and the Nelson boys bring the perfect hybrid of classic rock, dusty folk and guitar-led grunge rock for a very diverse and engaging album.  Additionally, Young has created a new archival website that chronicles his entire music career, allowing you to stream all of his music – in high resolution, of course - and includes previously unreleased songs and videos:

Friday, December 08, 2017

3 Songs: On Repeat – Extended Christmas Edition

Photo credit: Art Jipson

Dude York – “Takin’ Care Of Christmas” (The Seattle trio offer up their first holiday-themed album with the Hardly Art release of Halftime For The Holidays.  The 9-track album features all new original songs that address loneliness, breakups and other stresses of the holiday season set to their highly-melodic power pop-punk, along with a joyous cover of Bachman-Turner Overdrive’s “Takin’ Care of Christmas”, heard here.)    

Gwen Stefani – “Santa Baby” (The No Doubt frontwoman and star of NBC’s The Voice recently released her first Christmas album titled, You Make It Feel Like Christmas, via Interscope Records.  Featuring a duet with Blake Shelton, the album is a blend of new originals and classic Christmas covers in her distinct style and voice such as a stirring “Silent Night”, “White Christmas” and “Santa Baby”, the latter of which she was born to sing.)  

Pentatonix – “How Great Thou Art” (The world’s best known a capella group and my 3 year old son’s favorite band recently reissued their A Pentatonix Christmas album – via RCA Records - as a deluxe version with 5 new tracks including, “How Great Thou Art” featuring Jennifer Hudson, as seen here, taken from their NBC television special, A Very Pentatonix Christmas.)

August Burns Red – “Last Christmas” (Per their yearly tradition, the Christian metalcore titans deliver another heavy take on a Christmas classic and this year’s cover is a blistering instrumental performance of the beloved 80’s classic by Wham.  ABR’s excellent new album, Phantom Anthem is out now on Fearless Records.)  

Friday, December 01, 2017

3 Songs: On Repeat

Ghost Work – “B Ledgewood (Demo)” (Ghost Work is the new band from Aaron Stauffer of Seaweed, Sean Husick of Milemarker, Dustin Perry of Snapcase and Erin Tate formerly of Minus The Bear.  Their debut release, Starlight & Blue (demos) EP was recently released digitally via the Chicago label, IDEAS.  Through three tracks, they blend their punk and hardcore pedigree with diverse elements of 80’s post-punk, shoegaze and indie rock for a dynamic new sound that is promising - I can’t wait to hear more from this project!)

Quicksand – “Interiors” (The New York post-hardcore pioneers recently returned with Interiors, their third album and first since 1995.  Out now on Epitaph, Schreifels, Vega, Cage and Capone come back hard with their heavy, unmistakable bass-led grooves but add even more spaced-out melody to their sound for a powerful album that defies nostalgia and warrants consideration for year-end lists.  Check out the standout title track here with its sweeping vocal melodies and noisy outbursts.)  

Converge – “A Single Tear” (The Boston metalcore vets recently released their ninth album titled, The Dusk In Us, via Epitaph Records.  After nearly 30 years as a band, Bannon, Ballou, Koller, and Newton still create a noise-addled and visceral hardcore-inspired brand of metal with their pioneering guitar tones and production in tow but have added a more positive outlook and punchier pop hooks this time around.  Check out the emotionally-charged and anthemic album opener here.)

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

3 Songs: Bedstock 2017

The online music festival Bedstock recently returned for its fourth year. Bedstock is a part of the Children’s Cancer Association’s music program, MyMusicRx, where artists perform from their beds in honor of kids who are forced to spend their holidays in a hospital bed.    
Participating bands of note include, Ringo Starr, Rick Neilson of Cheap Trick, Stephen Malkmus, Charly Bliss, Live, The Breeders, Iron & Wine, Chad VanGaalen (with his daughters), Son Little, Lukas Nelson, Deer Tick and many more. 
Here are my 3 favorite performances:

Iron & Wine – “Call It Dreaming” (Sam Beam performs - the standout track from his Grammy-nominated new album, Beast Epic, out now on Sub Pop - from his bed among stuffed animals.)

Live – “Lightning Crashes” (Ed Kowalczyk performs the band’s moving, heartbreaking classic from a bed at the Austin City Limits festival.)

The Breeders – “Drivin’ On 9” (The Breeders – who are working on a new album - perform the Last Splash track from a cozy bed complete with Kleenex box percussion and iPhone synths.)