Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Stream It From The Mountain: Harvey Pekar - Paris Green

Cleveland post-hardcore band Harvey Pekar released their third album, Paris Green, last week via Steadfast Records.  On the new seven-song album - produced and engineered by Ryan Foltz at Cleveland Audio (Dropkick Murphy’s, Rancid) - the quartet continues to defy perceived genre limitations by adding in elements of expansive prog-rock and atmospheric post-rock to their hardcore punk sound.  They also stand out with their vivid, thought-provoking lyrics; the album follows a sci-fi inspired concept.  Standouts include, the single and closing track, “Forever The Follow” with its tumbling bass-led groove and chaotic churn, and “Drag Hesitations” with its surging rhythm, dynamic shifts and melodic sing-along moments.
Paris Green is out tomorrow on Steadfast Records digitally, on CD, cassette, and in three 150g vinyl variants: “Paris Green”; an opaque antifreeze green, “Blue Ensemble”; a coke bottle clear with blue swirl, and classic black. 
Stream Paris Green here:

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

REISSUE: Orange 9mm – Driver Not Included

It was an incredible time to be a music fan in the 90’s, especially for fans of heavy music.  Major labels were snatching up bands with roots in the hardcore punk scene like Quicksand, Rage Against The Machine and Orange 9mm; and to great success.      
One of my favorites from that era was the criminally-underrated post-hardcore band, Orange 9mm.  Led by vocalist Chaka Malik and guitarist Matt Traynor of 80’s hardcore pioneers Burn, Orange 9mm made their major label bow in 1995 with their killer debut album, Driver Not Included, originally released on EastWest/Elektra Records.   
The album - led by standout tracks, “High Speed Changer” with its propulsive rhythm and anthemic chorus and “Can’t Decide” with its off-kilter groove – deserves to be mentioned alongside the best albums of the 90’s. 
The album has been out nearly 25 years and Music On Vinyl is giving it the attention it deserves; the noted vinyl only label recently issued an exclusive vinyl reissue of Driver Not Included.  Limited to 1,000 numbered copies and pressed fittingly onto stunning "flame-colored" orange and yellow mix 180g vinyl, the package is completed with a lyric insert and a hefty record sleeve.  It looks as good as it sounds!       
Watch the video for “High Speed Changer” here:

Monday, May 20, 2019

SHOW ALERT: Cursive, mewithoutYou and The Appleseed Cast @ The Woodward Theater 5/22

Three veterans of the 90’s and early 2000’s indie/emo scene are joining forces on a tour together.  Cursive, mewithoutYou and The Appleseed Cast are set to perform at The Woodward Theater in Cincinnati on Wednesday, May 22.   
After a six year wait, Cursive recently released an album, Vitriola, via their independent imprint, 15 Passenger.  Tim Kasher and crew continue to create emotionally-resonant music; balancing both beauty and rage alongside Kasher’s reflective storytelling.   
mewithoutYou also recently released an album last fall, on Run For Cover, titled, [Untitled].  It was the seventh album for the experimental post-hardcore mainstays and has a little bit of a harder edge to it than their last few releases.     
The Appleseed Cast recently released a new single after a lengthy hiatus and plan to release a new album in June via Graveface Records, titled, The Fleeting Light of Impermanence. 
In celebration of the upcoming show, here are 3 Songs; one from each band on the tour.  Enjoy and see you at the show!

Cursive – “Life Savings” (Taken from their most recent album, Vitriola.)

mewithoutYou – “9:27a.m., 7/29” (Taken from their most recent album, [Untitled].)

The Appleseed Cast – “Steps And Numbers” (Taken from the album, Low Level Owl, Vol. 1.)

Friday, May 17, 2019

3 Songs: On Repeat - Extended Edition

Interpol – “Fine Mess” (On the heels of last year’s excellent album, Marauder, the NYC post-punk trio return with a new EP entitled, A Fine Mess.  Out today on Matador, the 5-track EP was produced by Dave Fridmann and features a studio recording of fan favorite “Real Life” and the anthemic and catchy songs rival their best work with a loose and palpable energy.  These new songs will sound great live and you can catch them on tour this summer, sharing the stage with Morrissey.)    

Charger – “Crackdown” (Charger is the new project from Rancid bassist Matt Freeman, drummer Jason Willer of Alaric and Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine and guitarist Andrew McGee.  Combining their punk rock pedigree, together the Oakland-based trio creates a muscular, groove-driven, Motörhead-inspired sound that recalls 70’s hard rock and metal.  Their self-titled debut EP is out now on Pirates Press Records and rips with hard-charging rhythms for the perfect soundtrack to a fast drive down a gravel road with the windows rolled down.)    

Charly Bliss – “Capacity” (The alt-pop throwbacks return with their highly-anticipated sophomore album, Young Enough, out now on Barsuk Records.  This time around the lyrics are darker and more personal but are set to bright, catchy power-pop melodies and synth-driven New Wave influences.  Vocalist/guitarist Eva Hendricks has a voice that can go from bittersweet, Juliana Hatfield-like to something more powerful and affecting.  Check out the standout single here with its rumbling synths and twinkling 80’s-inspired production and drums.)    

Foxygen – “Face The Facts” (Seeing Other People - recently released on Jagjaguwar - is the sixth and final Foxygen album.  Despite the bitter breakup – documented in full on the album - the duo of Jonathan Rado and Sam France have created their best album yet.  Filled with warped synth-driven funk and starry-eyed glam-rock, the new collection of songs is cohesive and catchy and proves their cult classic status one last time.)

Kevin Morby – (For his fifth solo album, the K.C. singer-songwriter wears his love for Bob Dylan on his record sleeve, specifically, “Christian”-era Dylan.  Oh My God, out now on Dead Oceans is filled with Gospel choirs, flutes, saxophones and piano, as Morby ditches his guitar and looks inward and upward.  Though he doesn’t claim to be Christian now and isn’t preaching to his fans, Morby is certainly searching for something more spiritual and the music he has created is vulnerable, ruminative and introspective.)

Monday, May 13, 2019

3 Songs: On Repeat - Extended Edition

Vampire Weekend – “This Life” (Ezra and company return with their long-awaited and highly-anticipated new album, Father Of The Bride, out now on Columbia Records.  The breezy 18 track album proves well worth the wait and is more organic and less synth-reliant than their last effort.  It also features many guests including, former member Rostam, guitarist Steve Lacy of The Internet and Danielle of Haim, who contributes vocals to several tracks including three duets.  Check out the incredibly infectious single here.)    

A.A. Bondy – “Killers 3” (After quitting music and going on an eight year hiatus, A.A. Bondy returns with a shape-shifting new album, Enderness, via Fat Possum.  The former Verbena frontman injects new life into his formerly bluesy and folksy solo work with the addition of warped synths, electronics and vocal effects.  The result is woozy, strange, haunting and soulful; and worthy of repeated listens especially, the standout single heard here, with its instantly catchy sing-along refrain.)

Jade Bird – “My Motto” (After lighting it up with her unique covers, singles and her 2017 EP, the English singer-songwriter, Jade Bird, recently released her hotly-anticipated self-titled debut album via Glassnote Records.  The highlight here is Bird’s versatile voice which varies between soaring soprano and blues-soaked punk-scuffed sneer and treats both folk-pop and country-laced folk-rock with the same reverence.  Her promising debut album is only the beginning for this dynamic performer.  Check out the empowering, piano-led torch song here.)  

Bailen – “I Was Wrong” (The emerging NY-based trio - consisting of twin brothers Daniel and David and their younger sister Julia Bailen – recently released their debut album, Thrilled To Be Here, via Fantasy Records.  The album produced by John Congleton is led by the close-knit familial harmonies of the siblings and intelligent, insightful lyrics.  Musically the retro-minded trio draws comparisons to Haim and Fleetwood Mac with their 70’s-inspired folk, pop and rock sound.)

Earthquake Lights – “The Eight-One” (The Brooklyn quintet seamlessly blends folk and indie rock with jazz and classical inspiration alongside prog-rock tendencies on their self-released debut album titled, Distress Signals, out now.  The band first met in the Hofstra University jazz department and has since gone on to combine a cornucopia of influences and inspirations into a surprisingly cohesive musical stew of laid back yet complex arrangements that are buoyed by lyrics that are willingly vulnerable yet easily relatable.)  

Friday, May 10, 2019

3 Songs: On Repeat- Heavy Edition

Unwed Sailor – “Heavy Age” (Johnathon Ford - former member of Pedro the Lion and frontman for Roadside Monument - recently returned after eleven years with his instrumental post-rock project, Unwed Sailor.  The aptly-titled new album, Heavy Age, is out now and is filled with viscerally evocative soundscapes that rumble with Ford’s bass-led grooves, creating thunderous rhythms undercut with haunting yet highly-melodic ambiance that captures their live energy for a welcome return.  Stream the epic title track for the perfect introduction or re-introduction to the band.)

Allegaeon – "Extremophiles (B)" (With their stellar new album, Apoptosis, out now on Metal Blade; the Denver-based metal band delivers on the hefty promise of their acclaimed breakout, 2016’s Proponent For Sentience.  The new album sees the band continue to advance their dizzying blend of complex, progressive technical metal and brutal death metal that is laced with anthemic melodies, clean classical-inspired passages and inventive arrangements.  New bassist Brandon Michael makes his mark and so does classical guitarist Christina Sandsengen who guests on a track.)   

Tronos – “Premonition” (The UK-based metal supergroup featuring, vocalist/guitarist Shane Embury of Napalm Death and Brujeria and producer/guitarist/vocalist/keyboardist Russ Russell, best known for producing At The Gates and Dimmu Borgir, along with drummer Dirk Verbeuren; recently released their collaborative debut album, Celestial Mechanics on Century Media.  In place of the speedy rhythms and growling intensity of their parent bands is a more groove-oriented sound, highlighted by Mastodon-like post-metal melodies and doomy black metal ambiance.  Guests include bassists Billy Gould of Faith No More, Mastodon’s Troy Sanders and Dan Lilker of Nuclear Assault and S.O.D., along with guest vocalists “Snake” of Voivod and vocalist/violinist  Erica Nockalls of The Wonder Stuff.  Check out the soaring and psychedelic single here featuring, Gould and “Snake”.)

Friday, May 03, 2019

REISSUE: Slick Rick – The Great Adventures Of Slick Rick (30th Anniversary Edition)

Last year marked the 30th anniversary of a true hip-hop classic, Slick Rick’s 1988 debut album, The Great Adventures of Slick Rick.  The highly-influential British-American MC had an imitable flow and wove stories of society, life and love with a quirky sense of humor.  His seminal debut album sparked the singles, “Teenage Love” and the much-sampled, interpolated, and covered signature track, “Children’s Story” and standouts such as the club-ready “Let’s Get Crazy”, “Hey Young World” and “Mona Lisa”.  Prior to his signing with Def Jam and the release of his debut, Slick Rick rose to fame as part of Doug E. Fresh’s Get Fresh Crew with their hit singles, “The Show” and “La Di Da Di”.    
In honor, Def Jam Recordings/Urban Legends/UMe recently released a remastered and expanded reissue of Rick The Ruler’s debut album.  The reissue is available digitally on CD and as a standard 2LP collector’s edition.  Also available is the limited edition 2LP Deluxe set that includes a booklet packed with photos, an essay in tribute from Nas and one from Rick himself, reproductions of lyrics sheets and a reproduction of Rick’s signature eye patch.    
The expanded reissue is highlighted by 1984 demo versions of four tracks including, “Children’s Story” and “Hey Young World”; and also includes a previously unreleased track, “Snakes Of The World Today”, recorded during the original sessions for the album.
Order the remastered and expanded 30th Anniversary Edition of The Great Adventures Of Slick Rick here:
Relive the glory of “Children’s Story” here:

Wednesday, May 01, 2019

PREMIERE: The Creepy Jingles – “Circadian Rhythm Guitar”

Kansas City-based psych-pop trio, The Creepy Jingles, are set to release their self-titled debut EP on May 3 on High Dive Records.  Consisting of vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Jocelyn Olivia Nixon, lead guitarist Travis McKenzie and drummer Nick Robertson, the trio creates a twisted brand of psychedelic garage rock that incorporates elements of surf rock, 70’s folk and super catchy Brit pop inspired melodies.
Atlas and the Anchor is proud to premiere “Circadian Rhythm Guitar”, the second single taken from their EP, available digitally, on CD and limited edition cassette.  Running just over two minutes, it’s a retro-minded psych-pop fever dream with a hip-shaking surf rock rhythm and an infectiously catchy sing-along chorus. It's the perfect introduction to your new obsession.
Singer/songwriter Jocelyn Olivia Nixon says of the track, “Circadian Rhythm Guitar is a song about struggling to trust one’s own intuition and self-happiness over others opinions/ expectations, all while being afraid to lose the people you love in the process because of that choice. It’s a song of coming to terms with transformation inside and out, which is where my head was at before coming out as a transwoman. It just happens to be disguised as a catchy pop song.”
Stream: “Circadian Rhythm Guitar” here:

For more info:

Friday, April 26, 2019

3 Songs: On Repeat

The Cranberries – “In The End” (Just over a year after Delores O’Riorden’s passing comes the release of the final studio album from The Cranberries titled, In The End, out today via BMG.  Prior to her passing the band was working on the album and Delores had recorded her vocals to the demos, the rest of the band – Noel, Mike and Fergal - then fleshed out the recordings, resulting in a strong collection of songs that truly rivals their best work.  It is a fitting and lasting tribute to one of alternative rock’s greatest voices.)
Stream the moving, acoustic guitar-led title track highlighted by O’Riorden’s soaring vocals, here:

Kelly Finnigan – “Catch Me I’m Falling” (Out today on the Cincinnati-based Colemine Records is The Tales People Tell, the promising debut solo album, from Kelly Finnigan, frontman for San Francisco’s soul-stirrers Monophonics.  Finnigan treats us to some timeless-sounding cinematic soul with elements of smooth R&B, doo-wop and hip-hop; positioning himself as one of the premiere soul singers in the genre’s recent resurgence.  Additionally, Kelly played most of the instruments heard on the album but was joined in the studio by drummer James Gadson - Bill Withers, Marvin Gaye, Beck - fellow members of Monophonics, and his father, keyboardist Mike Finnigan, famous for playing with Jimi Hendrix, Joe Cocker and Etta James.)   

Craig Finn – “Blankets” (The Hold Steady frontman returns today with his fourth solo album, I Need A New War, via Partisan Records.  Finn’s inimitable knack for storytelling and quirky, downtrodden characters remains but this time around Motown-inspired horns are prominent as are synths and piano, resulting in his strongest solo release yet.  The album was produced by Josh Kaufman, who played most of the instruments on the album.  Check out the first single here with its shimmery Rhoades piano and steady acoustic guitar-led rhythm.)   

Thursday, April 25, 2019

INTERVIEW: The Story Changes

The Story Changes - the Dayton indie rock band led by scene vet Mark McMillon – are set to release their long-awaited new album this Friday, making their label debut for local imprint Magnaphone Records.  McMillon (also a member of Hawthorne Heights) is joined by fellow Hawthorne Heights drummer Chris Popadak and rounded out by Chris Serafini of The Stereo on the new album titled, To Hell With This Delicate Equation.  The trio creates a moody, emo-soaked sound with twinges of late 90’s nostalgia; incorporating anthemic screams and sticky alt-rock hooks for the complete package. 
The band has several shows lined up in support of the album including a couple of locals shows; an acoustic in-store performance and album listening party on April 26 at Omega Music and an album release show on May 11 at Yellow Cab Tavern. 
In anticipation, Atlas and the Anchor spoke to frontman Mark McMillon of The Story Changes about the writing and recording process of the new album, it’s more aggressive sound and more.   
The new album was recorded in your home studio.  How did that benefit the writing and recording process?
For me, it was really important to take our time on this album and work on both the writing and recording when we had blocks of time home from tour throughout the last year.   Building the studio here and recording it at home was both frightening and exciting at the same time.  Once we got through the initial learning curve and fear of doing it ourselves, it was completely freeing and an absolute rush.  I also think not having any sort of deadline this time around really helped us hone in on the direction we wanted to go with the album.  The songs had time to breath for a bit and evolve. Everything came together super organically and it feels like we became more comfortable in our own skin as a band. – Mark McMillon  
The new songs, though soaring and catchy like, “Shooting Stars”, have a slightly darker undertone with the addition of some screaming.  What inspired the moodier, more aggressive turn?
We have always flirted with getting a little more aggressive, but it felt good to fully embrace that side of things this time around.  Our last EP, ‘Never In Daydream’, sort of paved the way a little with where ended up on the new album.   As much as we love bands like Jawbreaker, Jimmy Eat World, and Face to Face, we also love bands like Faith No More, Avail, and Quicksand.  Those are three way different examples of more aggressive bands that kind of show you where our headspace was at with our influences on the new album.  We didn't hold back this time. - MM
Are there any lyrical themes on the new album that connect the songs as a whole?
To Hell With This Delicate Equation, as a whole, is about throwing out the rulebook and working past any preconceived notions of who you are supposed to be and how you supposed to live your life.  Pave your own path and make your own rules.   We took that notion with us when writing the music for the album, too.  We wanted to throw out the rules of what we thought we should sound like based on our past releases and try new things throughout the songs. – MM
What song from the new album are you most excited to play live and why? 
We just stared playing “Shake” live and it’s been going over really well.  I think it’s got a little bit everything from the new album all wrapped up into one song.  There’s a really great energy to the song that translates over well live.  It's become a favorite of mine in our live set. – MM
How did you link up with Magnaphone Records (who has also released music by Lioness, The New Old-Fashioned and other locals)?    
For this album, we talked with Magnaphone pretty early on in the process and thought they would be a great fit.  There's a lot of mutual respect between the two of us and it's been a wonderful fit.  We love their roster and everyone involved with running the label.  Great people putting out a lot of great music! – MM

Watch the video – produced by Sound Valley Productions - for standout track, “Shooting Stars”, where the nerds get their revenge over the punks:

Friday, April 19, 2019

3 Songs: On Repeat

Drugs & Attics – “So Tuff” (The self-proclaimed “premier party drug rock band” lives up to the billing on their debut album, Clean Their Room, out today on High Dive Records.  The trio’s excellent debut delivers both the punk-splattered garage rock party and the inevitable comedown with some lonesome, doo wop-inspired ballads, for the complete package.  Check out the Misfits-like surf-punk churn of the standout track here.)     

Damien Jurado – “Newspaper Gown” (For his fourteenth album – In The Shape of a Storm - out now on Mama Bird Recordings, the singer-songwriter has stripped his sound down to the bare essentials; just his voice and guitar.  After years and several albums focusing on fuller arrangements with psychedelic 60’s production, Jurado returns to his folk-rock roots for a sincere and solid release.  Check out the slow-waltzing standout here, with his stellar storytelling in the spotlight.)   

Jake Najor and the Moment of Truth – “Keeping Up” (After spending the last twenty years as an in-demand session percussionist, the SoCal-based Jake Najor leads his own funk/soul collective, with his songwriting now sharing the spotlight with his in the pocket grooves and percussion skills on his debut solo album, In The Cut, out now via The Redwoods Music.  Guests vocalists include Jamie Allensworth and Najor’s former Breakstra bandmember MixMaster Wolf as well as Burkey of Vokab Company, who guests on the hip-hop inspired standout heard here.)

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

REISSUE: Brandtson – Letterbox

Cleveland’s Brandtson – favorites of the 90’s emo-punk era - stood out with a pop-leaning punk sound highlighted by their infectious intricate dual vocal harmonies and dueling guitar lines. Led by the anthemic charge of “Blindspot” and the starkly evocative “January”; their debut album, Letterbox, is a love letter to the beginning phases of their marriage of pop-leaning hooks to their hardcore punk past.
Originally released on Steadfast Records in 1997 and reissued the following year on Deep Elm Records, the recently-revitalized Steadfast Records – operated by Brandtson’s Matt Traxler - is reissuing the album on limited edition vinyl and cassette for the very first time.
The vinyl is limited to 500 total copies, housed in a gorgeous gatefold jacket, featuring restored and expanded artwork from the original Steadfast Records release.  Available in the following variants:
Still Life Green – 200
Bruised Blue – 200
150gm black – 100
The very limited cassettes are available in either blue or green and limited to 50 copies of each variant.
Watch the lyric video for “Blindspot” here:

Friday, April 12, 2019

Record Store Day 2019 - ORG Music

Each year ORG Music – the L.A. indie imprint known for reissuing long lost masterpieces - outdoes it on Record Store Day and this year is no exception.  In addition to their biannual Mike Watt-related release, they will release several reissues including ones from 60’s blues musician Johnny Adams, jazz pianist Cecil Taylor and noise-jazz drummer extraordinaire William Hooker.

Record Store Day is tomorrow and listed below are my top 3 choices from the ORG Music offerings for Record Store Day this year.  Check them out and add them to your list to pick up tomorrow!

Art Ensemble Of Chicago – “Lori Song” (Out of print on vinyl for over 40 years, ORG Music will release The Spiritual the highly-abstract 1974 album by the avant-garde jazz legends; highlighted by supreme performances by trumpeter Lester Bowie, saxophonists Joseph Jarman and Roscoe Mitchell, and bassist Malachi Favors.  The album was remastered at Infrasonic Mastering and is pressed onto transparent red 180g vinyl.)        

Fat Lip – “Worst Case Scenario” (Fat Lip, a member of 90’s Southern California rap collective, The Pharcyde, released his debut solo album in 2005 on Delicious Vinyl.  Out of print since its original release, ORG Music has reissued it on yellow and black swirl vinyl. The Loneliest Punk features West Coast-style G-funk-like production from J-Swift and guest spots from Shock G of Digital Underground and Chali 2na of Jurassic Park and Ozomatli.)   

Chad Smith & Josh Klingoffer – “Jeepster/Monolith” (The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ drummer Chad Smith and guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Josh Klingoffer have teamed up to record two T.Rex covers for a Record Store Day exclusive 7” via ORG Music.  With Josh handling vocals, bass and guitar, the duo put their own unique and fuzzy, funky spin on the glam-rock classics, “Jeepster” and Monolith”.)  
Stream: unavailable at press time...but trust me, it’s good!

For more info: &

Monday, April 08, 2019

Stream It From The Mountain: y god y – S/T EP

The Lawrence, KS based electronic duo, y god y, is a collaborative project between producer Joel Martin and vocalist/multi-instrumentalist, Garrett Marsh; who create a synth-driven dream-pop and weirdo R&B hybrid on their self-titled debut EP, just released last week on High Dive Records.  The EP is available digitally, on standard black vinyl and limited edition white and black half and half vinyl. Additionally, it is available on a yellow skeleton USB flash drive that includes the album and multitrack stems to create your own remixes. Standout tracks include, “Lighthouse” with its skittering Casio beat and the super catchy, sing-along single, “Say”. 
Though under the radar, the duo’s excellent first effort shows promise – with their modern pop sound - that with the right placement could explode the band into the mainstream.          
Listen below and help spread the word!
Stream the y god y EP here:

Friday, April 05, 2019

3 Songs: On Repeat

Ages And Ages – “How It Feels” (The Portland indie-poppers led by Tim Perry return today with their fourth album, Me You They We, via Partisan Records.  The new album is a little more laid back and dreamy but still as highly-melodic and catchy as ever. Much of the new songs lean more into the synths for a festival-ready sound yet most remain close to their folk-pop r oots; the standout track and single heard here is the perfect blend.)

Jenny Lewis – “Red Bull & Hennessy” (Jenny Lewis recently released her highly-anticipated fourth solo album, On The Line, via Warner Bros.  Lewis’s knack for vivid if not lucid storytelling and her gorgeous voice are the spotlight on these piano-led pop tunes as she leads an all-star cast of legends that includes, Benmont Tench, Don Was, Ringo Star and Beck.  Additionally, Lewis plays on the same piano Carole King used on Tapestry and she channels the charismatic charm of Stevie Nicks on the standout single, “Red Bull & Hennesy”, heard here.)  

Small Feet – “Let The Guys Down” (The Swedish-folk rock trio recently returned with their long-awaited sophomore album, With Psychic Powers, out now on Barsuk Records.  Small Feet is fronted by the pleasing tenor of songwriter Simon Stalhamre that somehow recalls both Neil Young and Jason Molina along with a bit of Daniel Johnson’s whimsical nature. The new album, recorded in his Stockholm-based studio, is more experimental with the addition of swirling psych-pop melodies and synths to his organic, Fleet Foxes-esque folk.)   

Friday, March 29, 2019

3 Songs: On Repeat

Unknown Instructors – “Acquainted With the Night” (Unknown Instructors is the avant-garde art punk project led by legendary bassist Mike Watt along with his Minutemen and Firehose  bandmate, drummer George Hurley and poet Dan McGuire.  Guitarist extraordinaire J Mascis was enlisted for their fourth album, Unwilling To Explain, out today on ORG Music.  The new album blends loose jazz improvisation, noisy punk outbursts and gonzo spoken word; with Watt’s signature bass spiels battling with J’s inimitable guitar squeals over tumbling rhythms as McGuire waxes about the strange ways of the world.  Additionally, Stephen Perkins provides his inimitable percussion to two tracks and jazz-punk guitarist Joe Baiza contributes vocals to a handful of tracks.)      

Hell Night – “Human Shelves” (The St. Louis metal band recently released a compilation album of sorts, titled, Unlimited Destruction, released on vinyl by Planet Score Records.  The 16-track album features five killer new songs with the remaining tracks coming from their digital and CD-only releases from the last two years.  Led by guitarist Andy White with bassist Eric Eyster and drummer Adam Arseneau; the trio recruited vocalist Brian Fair of Overcast and Shadows Fall, who elevates their explosive punk and hardcore-fueled metal sound with his distinct vocal style.  This is music to murder and mosh to.)      

Drekka – “We Who Are Not Lonely” (Drekka is the long-running experimental electronic project of Bloomington, IN musician Mkl Anderson.  Out now on Dais Records is No Tracks In The Snow, a collection of his early works, recorded between 1996 and 2002.  The new collection is the third such offering, completing a trilogy for the label and features Anderson’s brooding, headphones-worthy soundscapes and visceral ruminations on memories.  The album also traces his folk-driven singer-songwriter beginnings, heard here; showcasing just how far Drekka has expanded his sound over the years.)  

Friday, March 22, 2019

3 Songs: On Repeat - Megadeth – Warheads On Foreheads

The 80’s thrash metal titans Megadeth celebrated its 35th anniversary as a band last year and now in honor, Dave Mustaine and company have just released a definitive new career-spanning anthology titled, Warheads On Foreheads.  Available via Capitol Records/UMe in either a 3CD or 4LP set, it features a chronological track listing - picked by Dave himself - beginning with their 1985 debut album, Killing Is My Business…And Business Is Good and ending with their 2015 Grammy-winning album Dystopia. 
Each album in between is represented, highlighted by six tracks, including, “Hangar 18”, and “Holy Wars…The Punishment Due” from the classic 1990 album, Rust In Peace and “Sweating Bullets” and “Symphony Of Destruction” from Countdown To Extinction, released in 1992.  It also features fan-favorites like,  “Angry Again” taken from the soundtrack to the 1993 film, Last Action Hero.      
Warheads On Foreheads is not the first Megadeth hits compilation but it is certainly the best as it showcases, in chronological order, how Mustaine and his crew grew from raw thrash metal upstarts into the powerhouse metal band they are today. 
Celebrate Megadeth’s 35th anniversary with me; here are 3 of my favorite tracks.  Enjoy!
“Wake Up Dead”

“Holy Wars…The Punishment Due”

“Sweating Bullets”

for more info:

Friday, March 15, 2019

3 Songs: On Repeat

Stephen Malkmus – “Viktor Borgia” (Groove Denied, out today on Matador is Steven Malkmus’s first solo album since 2001 and first ever electronic music album.  The long-gestating experimental album is inspired by 80’s synth wave and early 90’s dance music; featuring his trademark quirky lyrics and highlighted by electronic rhythms and warped analog synth sounds.  Sometimes when beloved artists step out of their and their long time fan’s comfort zones, it doesn’t always translate but Malkmus has created a psychedelic brand of electronic music that you can zone out to and even dance to.)     

Stella Donnelly – “Tricks” (On the heels of her breakout solo EP, Thrush Metal, released in 2017; the Western Australia-based singer-songwriter recently released her awaited debut album, Beware of the Dogs, on Secretly Canadian.  With a backing back in tow, the arrangements are fuller and more fleshed out but the spotlight remains on Donnelly - who can flat out sing with a lilting vibrato - and on her highly-observant lyrics that bite with snark, wit, heart and charm.)

Maren Morris –“Flavor” (The Texas-based country-pop singer-songwriter with the powerhouse, Texas-sized voice recently released her highly-anticipated sophomore album, GIRL, via Columbia Nashville.  Building upon her stunning debut, Morris continues to blur the lines between country and pop with R&B-inflected beats and ultra-catchy melodies alongside her empowering lyrics and Aguilera-esque vocal runs and prowess.  Brandi Carlisle and Brothers Osbourne provide guest appearances on the sophomore-slump busting album.)  

Friday, March 08, 2019

3 Songs: On Repeat

Durand Jones & The Indications – “Long Way Home” (After signing to their hometown label Dead Oceans and rereleasing their debut album last year, the Bloomington, IN soul revivalists recently returned with their second album, American Love Call.  The masterful new album boasts improved songwriting and production and trades the bright brass outburst of their debut for doo wop and 70’s soul-inspired strings, while wrestling with modern issues.  American Love Call exceeds the great expectations and delivers on the promise of their debut and then some, for a modern day soul masterpiece.)

Gary Clark Jr. – “Gotta Get Into Something”” (For his third album – THIS LAND, out now on Warner Bros. - the blues guitar virtuoso has broadened his sound to include elements of Prince-like funk, hip-hop, dub reggae and soul  for an eclectic yet cohesive melting pot of an album that is easily his best effort yet.  Lyrically, he is more politically provocative, especially on the stunning title track.  Check out the super-catchy album track here with its hybrid power-punk and 50’s rock sound.)

Switchfoot – “Native Tongue (Live In Atlanta)” (The San Diego alternative rock vets returned earlier this year after a three year wait, with the release of their eleventh album, Native Tongue.  In support of the album, they are about to embark on a tour.  In celebration, they have shared a live performance video, today, of the album’s catchy and sentimental title track – that reflects the album’s themes of love, hope and positivity - recorded during a performance at The Tabernacle in Atlanta.  Watch the video below and check the link here for tour dates in your city.)

Friday, March 01, 2019

3 Songs: Tom Petty – The Best of Everything

Out today via Geffen Records/UMe is The Best of Everything the definitive, 40 year career-spanning greatest hits collection of the late, great Tom Petty.  The 2CD or 4LP set contains 38 newly remastered tracks that include standouts from Petty’s solo work and outstanding output with his bands The Heartbreakers and Mudcrutch.  The collection features the hits, “Free Fallin’,” “Don’t Come Around Here No More”, “You Don’t Know How It Feels”, “American Girl”, “The Waiting”, “Refugee”, “I Won’t Back Down”, “Don’t Do Me Like That”, “Learning To Fly” and his duet with Stevie Nicks, “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around”. Also included are an alternate version of the title track “The Best of Everything” that includes a never-heard second verse; and the previously unreleased “For Real”, which closes out the set with a sentimental moment.  Completing the package along with tons of great photos is an insightful and heartfelt essay written by Cameron Crowe.
Tom Petty’s The Best of Everything collection is the perfect tribute to Petty’s amazing contributions to the musical landscape over the last 40 years that will stand the test of time for another 40 years and more.
In honor, I have chosen 3 of my favorite Tom Petty songs to share with you.  It was very hard to only choose three.

Tom Petty – “Free Fallin” (One of my all-time favorite Petty songs.  I still have the cassette single!)

Tom Petty – “Saving Grace” (A gritty blues-rock track from his final solo album, Highway Companion, released in 2006.)

Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers – “Don’t Come Around Here No More” (My first introduction to Tom Petty was via this psychedelic and strange video.)