Friday, October 20, 2017

3 Songs: On Repeat (Extended Edition)

Buffalo Killers – “Black Halo” (The Ohio psych-rock band led by brothers Andrew and Zachary Gabbard is set to release their eighth album, Alive and Well in Ohio, today via Alive Naturalsound Records.  Recorded by the band in their analog home studio, the new songs are their most personal with lyrics dealing with life changes and family.  Musically, they continue to twist and tweak their near-perfect blend of southern-tinged stoner rock, power-pop and Beatles-esque psych-pop for yet another great addition to their growing catalog.)         

Dori Freeman – “If I Could Make You My Own” (The emerging Virginia-based folk-pop singer-songwriter Dori Freeman returns with her stunning sophomore album, Letters Never Read, out today on Blue Hens Music.  Produced again by Teddy Thompson, the new album seasons her sound with elements of her Appalachian roots – one song sung acapella, was written by her grandfather – and 70’s country-rock and Rufus Wainwright-like art-pop.  Guests on the album include Kacy & Clayton and Richard Thompson.)

Bully – “Feel The Same” (Alicia Bognanno returns with her band’s long-awaited sophomore album, Losing, out today on their new label home, Sub Pop.  Landing with Sub Pop proves to be the perfect pairing, as her catchy, guitar-driven fuzz-punk recalls the label’s late 80’s and early 90’s output.  Of course, the spotlight remains on Bognanno’s bittersweet voice that displays both vulnerability and throat-shredding power with personal and political lyrics that match in intensity.)     

Stars – “We Called It Love” (Having spent nearly two decades as a band, the Canadian synth-pop vets – led by vocalists Torquil Campbell and Amy Millan - recently released their highly-anticipated eighth album, There Is No Love In Fluorescent Light via Last Gang Records/eOne.  The band worked with an outside producer for the first time, enlisting Peter Katis (The National, Japandroids), and the resulting collection of songs are as shimmering, emotionally-electric and anthemic as Stars have ever sounded.)  

August Burns Red – “The Frost” (Coming off a Grammy nomination, the Christian metalcore mainstays recently released their stunning seventh album, Phantom Anthem, on Fearless Records.  Not to be satisfied with recent successes, the band continues to experiment and stretch their musical boundaries, leaning in with even more progressive Meshuggah-like riffage and off-kilter time signatures along with pretty, piano-led post-rock passages that fit in perfectly with their thunderous breakdowns and anthemic sound.)      

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

20 Years on the Street: Vinyl Reissues from Vagrant Records including, Saves The Day

In the late 90’s into the early 2000’s, Vagrant Records released some of the most iconic and legendary emo-punk albums.  The label continues the celebration of their recent 20th anniversary with more vinyl reissues of classic albums from their storied catalog.  After previously reissuing albums from Rocket From The Crypt, The Anniversary, Alkaline Trio, Hot Rot Circuit and The Get Up Kids, the sixth phase of their vinyl reissue campaign features three albums from New Jersey emo-era favorites Saves The Day.
The albums by Saves The Day being reissued are their excellent 2007 release Under The Boards and the highly-influential cult classic, Stay What You Are, released in 2001.  The latter album – led by the standout single, “At Your Funeral” – gained enough buzz to land the band a major label record deal.  Additionally, their 2004 odd and ends set, Ups And Downs: Early Recordings and B-sides is being released on vinyl for the very first time.  The compilation collected several live cuts, demos, one-off tracks and covers including their great version of The Clash’s “Clash City Rockers”.  Each LP is pressed onto 180g black vinyl and limited to only 900 copies. 
Order the vinyl here and get free shipping when you spend $50:       
Watch the video for “At Your Funeral” from Stay What You Are here:
Saves the Day - At Your Funeral from Maureen Egan & Matthew Barry on Vimeo.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Starset – The PROX Transmissions (Graphic Novel)

Marvel Comics recently released an 88-page graphic novel titled, The PROX Transmissions.  It is the ambitious collaboration between Dustin Bates, the vocalist and founder of the Columbus-based progressive modern rock band Starset and fan-favorite writer Peter David (Ben Reilly: Scarlett Spider, Spider-Verse) along with acclaimed artist Mirko Colak (The Punisher, Red Skull). 
Alongside front man duties for Starset, Dustin Bates is also an electrical engineering PhD candidate, has done research for the U.S. Air Force and taught at the International Space University in France.  Bates and his band mates have created The Starset Society, an over-arching concept that encompasses everything about the band including their visually stunning live performances (they’ve performed in planetariums), music videos and this graphic novel. 
Starset’s 2015 debut album, Transmissions (Razor & Tie) set the storyline in place which follows, as stated in the press release: “A secret transmission from the far reaches of the galaxy falls into the hands of SETI radio astronomer Dr. Stephen Browning. His world begins to unravel as he discovers the cryptic message including information of advanced technology and a dire warning from the future. After Browning seeks aid of brilliant-yet-impetuous playboy Dr. Aston Wise, the two set off on an epic journey to discover the meaning of the transmission, only to discover that they are pawns in a much bigger game.  Humanity hangs in the balance as powerful forces vie for control of the future, with only Wise and Browning to stop them.” 
Starset’s stellar sophomore album, Vessels - led by the chart-topping hit single, “Monster” - was released in January on Razor & Tie and continues the sci-fi saga introduced musically on Transmissions and now, visually in The PROX Transmissions.
Order the physical copy of The PROX Transmisisons graphic novel:  
Watch the video of “My Demons” from the album Transmissions:

Friday, October 13, 2017

3 Songs: On Repeat (Extended Edition)

Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile – “Over Everything” (File this under: almost too good to be true; as the likeminded musicians Barnett and Vile have just released a collaborative album via a collaboration between Barnett’s Milk Records and Matador Records, titled, Lotta Sea Lice.  The excellent album is highlighted by their vocal trade-offs as well as their scruffy, signature guitar work and wordy, narrative lyrical style.  In addition to their excellent originals, they also put their own nonchalant folksy spin on songs from 90’s alt-pop band Belly and Australian singer-songwriter Jen Cloher.  Check out the bluesy, countrified jangle of the standout opening track here.)

William Patrick Corgan – “The Spaniards” (The Smashing Pumpkins frontman has teamed up with producer Rick Rubin for his second solo album, released under his full birth name.  Out today via Martha’s Music/BMG, Ogilala is a mostly acoustic affair with Corgan ditching his trademark dense guitars and angst for soaring, starry-eyed piano and acoustic guitar-led arrangements with cinematic strings and vulnerable lyrics.  Vocally, he has never sounded better.  The album is accompanied by a silent short film, Pillbox, written and directed by Corgan and collaborator Linda Strawberry.  Also, be sure to catch him on his current solo acoustic tour.)

Foo Fighters – “The Line” (Dave Grohl and company recently released their ninth studio album, Concrete And Gold.  Out now on Roswell/RCA Records, the new album finds the band as arena-ready as ever but renewed as well; injecting lead single “Run” and standouts “La Dee Da” and “Make It Right” with loads of energy, heavy riffs and screams.  The album – smoothly produced by Grammy award-winning pop producer Greg Kurstin - is also full of surprising guest spots from jazz saxophonist Dave Koz, Justin Timberlake and Shawn Stockman of Boyz II Men, but it all fits together, with nothing standing out for the wrong reasons; equaling out to be the best Foos album in years!)          

Liam Gallagher – “Wall Of Glass” (The famously arrogant former Oasis frontman recently released his debut solo album, As You Were, out now on Warner Bros. Records.  This collection of songs offers up everything an Oasis fan could want including, very Beatles-esque moments (“Paper Crown”), atmospheric acoustic ballads (“Chinatown”) and psychedelic rockers (“Come Back To Me”) as well as the ballsy, bluesy standout single, “Wall Of Glass”, heard here.)

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Stream It From The Mountain: Paperhaus - Are These The Questions That We Need To Ask?

Paperhaus, the D.C.-based indie rock band, recently released Are These The Questions That We Need To Ask? their statement-making sophomore album and label debut for Misra Records.  The quartet – led by remaining founding member Alex Tebeleff - combines timely themes of antifascism and other social and political issues with an inventive prog-leaning and synth-driven sound that incorporates elements of psych-rock, dream-pop and dance-rock for an impressive album.
The torch-bearing album opener, “Told You What To Say” is highlighted by a catchy sing-along chorus and strange, space-bound synths.  Other standouts include the atmospheric single, “Go Cozy” with its elastic post-punk rhythm and shimmering guitars and the wide-screen Brit-pop influence of “It’s Not There”.    
Stream Are These The Questions That We Need To Ask? here:

Monday, October 09, 2017

Stone Temple Pilots – Core 25th Anniversary Reissue

At the height of the grunge and alternative rock era of the early 90’s, emerged a band that was seen as intruders at first but soon won over fans and critics with their artful blend of glam and hard rock.  Stone Temple Pilots released their chart-climbing debut album Core, 25 years ago on the strength of standout singles and modern rock mainstays such as “Sex Type Thing”, “Creep”, “Wicked Garden” and “Plush”.  Led by the charismatic and oft-troubled late frontman, Scott Weiland along with brothers, Robert and Dean DeLeo and Eric Kretz, STP created a sound that referenced the Seattle grunge scene but was more inspired by glam and psychedelic, groove-heavy classic rock.    
To celebrate, Atlantic Records in association with Rhino Records has just released a Super Deluxe Reissue of Core that consists of 4 CDs, 1 DVD and 1LP.  The first of the four CDs (along with the included 180-gram LP) contains the newly remastered original album.  The spotlight is on the second disc which is full of previously unreleased rarities and demo versions including the rare non-album track, “Only Dying”, which was one of four tracks recorded during the early 87-90 sessions under their previous moniker, Mighty Joe Young and originally set to be included on the soundtrack to the 1994 film  The Crow.  The third disc collects several live performances from 1993 – including their performance at the Reading Festival - and the fourth disc includes their legendary MTV Unplugged performance.  I recall seeing the music videos for the amazing Unplugged versions of “Plush” and “Creep” in rotation on MTV more than the original promo video for the track that year.  Additionally, the DVD includes all of the music videos from the four singles as well a 5.1 mix of the album.  The album also comes as a 1CD remaster and 2CD deluxe edition that includes the demos and rarities.   
 Stream “Only Dying” (Demo) here: 

Friday, October 06, 2017

3 Songs: On Repeat

Wolf Parade – “Valley Boy” (After reuniting last year, releasing an EP and celebrating the 10-year anniversary of their classic debut, Apologies To The Queen Mary, the Canadian indie rock band returns with their long-awaited fourth album, Cry Cry Cry, their first in seven years.  Out today on Sub Pop, the new album finds Spencer Krug, Dan Boeckner and crew in sync and just as anthemic, strange and near-perfect as ever.  Inspired by Leonard Cohen and indebted to David Bowie, the standout single here, is the perfect distillation of their proggy and glammy power-pop sound with wiry guitars, strange synths and a shout-along chorus.  A most welcomed return indeed!)

Spirit Award – “Summer” (The emergent Seattle psych-pop trio – featuring former Pomegranate member Dan Lyon and current Zoolab member Terence Ankeny - recorded with the legendary Jack Endino for their debut album Neverending, out today via Union Zero Records.  Alongside personal lyrics dealing with loss, their bold brand of psych-rock incorporates hypnotic Krautrock-inspired rhythms and dense layers of warped vintage synths like on the twinkling, aptly-titled standout single heard here.)         

Awaken I Am – “Black Dreams” (Poised to breakout, the Australian band recently released their long-awaited sophomore album, Blind Love, via Victory Records.  Their genre-defiant sound is cinematic in scope with pianos, strings and synths complimenting the groove-heavy beats, metallic guitars and soaring, ridiculously catchy pop melodies.  Check out the standout single here with its 80’s-inspired synths, driving rhythm and huge, sing-along hooks.)    

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Stream It From The Mountain: The Obleeks – S/T

After a string of singles and an EP over the last couple of years, the Chicago power-pop trio known as The Obleeks recently released their highly-anticipated self-titled debut album via Good Land Records.  Led by brothers Andy and Lee Ketch along with Nick Harris, the trio creates a nostalgia-inducing sound that combines folk-leaning Tom Petty-like rock with infectious, Midwestern power-pop that is loaded with indelible vocal harmonies and jangly guitars.  The excellent 10-song album breezes by with no track reaching the 3-minute mark, practically begging to be listened to over and over again.       
Standout tracks include the slow-burning “Brand New” with its shimmering strings and synths, the gritty guitar jangle and exuberance of “Lovely Hill” and the catchy closing track, “I Wish That Evening Sun Was Rising” with its foot- stomping rhythm and steady acoustic guitar strumming.   
Stream The Obleeks here:

Friday, September 29, 2017

3 Songs: On Repeat (Extended Edition)

Primus – “The Scheme” (The excellent new Primus album, The Desaturating Seven is a concept album inspired by the 1978 children’s book The Rainbow Goblins by Italian author and artist Ui de Rico.  Out today on ATO Records, the highly-anticipated ninth album is also the first album of new music since 1995 featuring the definitive lineup of Les, Ler and Herb.  The imaginative Claypool creates a lyrical fantasyland that allows for their inventive prog-rock and heavier, thrash metal sides to shine for yet another great album to add to their impressive canon.)    

Lecrae – “Come And Get Me” (Grammy-Award winning rapper Lecrae recently released All Things Work Together, his eighth album and debut for Columbia Records.  Balancing a radical Gospel-centered message with personal introspection and social and political issues, Lecrae delivers an uplifting and positive message alongside incredible production and his versatile flow.  Guests on the album include Tori Kelly, Ty Dolla $ign and emerging New Orleans artist Aha Gazelle among others.)

Son Little – “Blue Magic (Waikiki)” (The Grammy winning producer and singer-songwriter continues to perfect his deft blend of soul, hip-hop, gospel, rock and blues on his recently released sophomore album, New Magic, out now on Anti Records.  Standouts like the shuffling Sam Cooke-esque “O Me O My” and the single heard here with its stuttering rhythm and absolutely infectious sing-along chorus showcase his unbelievable talent.)          

Moses Sumney – “Don’t Bother Calling” (Out now on Jagjaguwar is Aromanticism, the long-awaited and highly-anticipated debut album from the experimental singer-songwriter Moses Sumney.  Led by his stunningly dynamic voice, the album follows a concept concerning love and loneliness that transcends genre, blending jazz, R&B, folk and soul into something indescribably beautiful and timeless; an undeniable modern day classic upon release.)       

Billy Strings – “Living Like An Animal” (The emerging contemporary bluegrass virtuoso Billy Strings recently released his debut album, Turmoil & Tinfoil.  The Nashville-by-way-of Michigan based multi-instrumentalist’s flickering fretwork and psyche-tinged punk-inspired sound conjures up images of Bill Monroe with a jam-band mentality for an impressive debut.  Stream the howling, propulsive standout track, “Live Like An Animal” here.)   

Sons Of Texas – “Down In The Trenches” (The Texas based hard rock quintet recently released their sophomore album, Fortitude, via Razor & Tie.  The new album improves upon their signature sound which effortlessly fuses groove-leaden Pantera-like southern metal with anthemic and melodic hard rock that incorporates elements of bluesy classic rock and country.)  

Thursday, September 28, 2017

SHOW ALERT: Caustic Casanova at Blind Bob’s - Saturday, 9/30

The Washington, D.C. based heavy rock band Caustic Casanova is set to open their Fall tour in Dayton on Saturday 9/30 at Blind Bob’s alongside tour mates Irata and like-minded locals Close The Hatch and Floodwalker.   
The trio consists of guitarist Andre Yonki, vocalist/bassist Francis Beringer and drummer Stefanie Zaenker and they create an abrasive, sludgy and psychedelic brand of punk and hardcore-inspired noise-rock that recalls the Melvins, whom they cover on their most recent release, Pantheon Vol.2, a 2-song 7”.  The second in the "Pantheon" series of 7 inches was recorded by the legendary J. Robbins and features an original song on the A side - a re-imagining of a 2006 Caustic Casanova song, "Lord Pinto” – as well as artwork paying tribute to the band being covered, in this case the Melvins and their 1991 classic, “Cow”.  To make it their own, the band added in warped theremin to flesh out the original’s thunderous drum-heavy ending.      
Stream Pantheon Vol. 2 here then get your faces melted at Blind Bob’s on Saturday!
For more info: or