Friday, April 20, 2018

3 Songs: On Repeat (Extended Edition)

Joshua Hedley – “ I Never (Shed A Tear)” (The retro-minded Nashville singer-songwriter is set to release his debut album, Mr. Jukebox, today on Third Man Records.  After playing “second fiddle” as an in-demand fiddle player, Hedley now snags the spotlight with his smooth classic country croon and impeccable songwriting.  He delivers nine timeless country & western originals complimented by cinematic strings and choral-like background vocals, as well as a cover of “When You Wish Upon A Star”, resulting in a more than promising debut album.)   

Lume – “Loss Leader” (Themes of death and loss penetrate the Chicago-based post-hardcore trio’s new album, Wrung Out, out now on their new label, Equal Vision Records.  Musically, a sense of dread is marked by their bottom-heavy grooves and noisy outbursts but hopeful catharsis is found in the alternately atmospheric melodies; as heard on the standout single here.  Additionally, Johnny Dang of o’Brother and Spencer Ussery of Big Jesus collaborate on several tracks.)

Hyways – “The Line” (The Seattle country music cosmonauts - led by singer-songwriter Mike Giacolino and featuring members of Son Volt, Sera Cahoone and Rose Windows – will release their self-titled debut album on Record Store Day via Union Zero.  Space-bound psychedelia and country-leaning folk is blended with rootsy indie rock and elements of prog-rock for an out of this world debut. )   

A Perfect Circle – “So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish” (After a lengthy fourteen-year hiatus the art-rock band led by mastermind Billy Howerdel and Tool’s Maynard James Keenan returns today with their epic, long-awaited fourth album, Eat the Elephant, via BMG.  Keenan’s striking political/societal lyrical content is set to Howerdel’s most moving and ambitious yet accessible album yet.  Check out the propulsive and soaring standout single here and be sure to catch both A Perfect Circle and Tool at this year’s Rock On The Range festival.)     

Young Valley – “Burnt Out” (The Jackson, MS based alt-country trio - consisting of brothers Zach and Dylan Lovett and Spencer Thomas - is set to release their stunning self-titled sophomore album today via Dial Back Sound, the new label imprint ran by Matt Patton of Drive-By Truckers and The Dexateens and engineer/producer Bronson Tew.  Armed with three capable songwriters and a sound that effortlessly blends rootsy folk, traditional country and southern rock, Young Valley is in position for a lengthy and lauded career if they keep this up.)  

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Stream It From The Mountain: Mini Meltdowns – S/T EP

Mini Meltdowns is a new garage-punk trio led by Nashville-by-way-of-Milwaukee drummer Jonny Phillip who has played for the Benjamins, Limbeck, Berwanger, Trapper Scheopp, Tommy Stinson, and Paul Collins over the years.  In addition to drumming for Mini Meltdowns, Phillip shares vocal and guitar duties with Michelle Sullivan, also of Sherbert, and they are joined by former Promise Ring and current Dashboard Confessional bassist, Scott Schoenbeck. 
Together the trio creates a fun and energetic fusion of fuzzy power-pop and bouncy punk rock on their 4-song self-titled debut EP which is out tomorrow on Good Land Records.  Standout tracks include “Hospital” - led by Sullivan - a sneering yet self-depreciating smashing of mental illness and the Phillip-led fuzzed-out surf punk anthem, “Number On Me”.   
To order or for more info:
Stream Mini Meltdowns here:

Friday, April 13, 2018

3 Songs: On Repeat (Extended Edition)

King Tuff – “Thru The Cracks” (Kyle Thomas returns today after four years with The Other, his highly-anticipated fifth album as King Tuff.  Released via Sub Pop, the new album shakes off the fuzzy garage-rock atmosphere and attitudes of his previous work for something more psychedelic, power-pop inspired and introspective.  The soaring, bittersweet melodies and guest vocals from Jenny Lewis on the standout single, heard here, make for the perfect reintroduction.)

A Place To Bury Strangers – “There’s Only One Of Us” (The experimental post-punk trio consisting of Oliver Ackermann, Dion Lunadon, and now official member, Lia Simone Braswell are set to release their fifth album, Pinned, today on Dead Oceans.  The new album sees the band continue to perfect their hauntingly moody, propulsive and noisy yet melodic sound led by the politically-charged single heard here with its buzz-bombing bass line, marching rhythm and catchy, dual male/female vocal melodies.)     

Gozu – “Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat” (The Boston quartet returns with their excellent new album, Revival, out today on Blacklight Media/Metal Blade Records.  On the new album they balance raging riffs with pop-leaning catchiness with ease; blending stomping stoner rock grooves and prog-rock tendencies with grunge-loving melodies for their best album yet and one that rivals that of their like-minded contemporaries, Mastodon.)    

The Moondoggies – “Soviet Barn Fire” (The Washington roots rock crew - led by vocalist/guitarist Kevin Murphy - returns after five years with their fourth album, A Love Sleeps Deep, out today on Hardly Art.   Recorded in Seattle by producer Erik Blood (Shabazz Places, Tacocat); the new album beefs up their pastoral folk sound with an emphasis on rocking riffs and a jam-band’s mentality.  Check out the raucous, barn-burning single here.)      

The Amazing – “Rewind” (The Swedish indie-rock quintet – led by Christoffer Gunrup - recently released their fifth album, In Transit, on Partisan Records.  The new album wraps their textural, guitar-led shoegaze-inspired brand of dream-pop in jazz-inflected rhythms and gauzy, serenely atmospheric and psychedelic cinematics; creating both mood and memorable melodies.  Listen to the liquid-like guitars and breathy vocal melodies of the standout single here.)     

Friday, April 06, 2018

3 Songs: On Repeat (Extended Edition)

Underoath – “Rapture” (The recently reunited metalcore band returns today after a lengthy hiatus with Erase Me, their long-awaited sixth album and first since 2010.  Released on Fearless Records, the new album – produced by Matt Squire and mixed by Ken Andrews - is sure to be polarizing with the inclusion of explicit language alongside personal and honest lyrical themes such as drug abuse, the band’s demise and rebirth as well as their disillusionment with the Christian religion they used to profess.  Musically, they lean in on the electronics a little more than they have previously but are just as heavy, moody and anthemic as ever.  Be sure to catch the Tampa-based band on tour this spring and summer.)    

Unknown Mortal Orchestra – “American Guilt” (The strange, shape-shifting band led by Ruban Nielson is set to release their highly-anticipated fourth album, Sex & Food, today on Jagjaguwar Records.  The new album contains their most eclectic, psychedelic and delightfully weird set of songs yet.  From the blown-out post-punk of “American Guilt” and cosmic funk of “Not In Love We’re Just High” to the deliriously danceable disco rhythms of “Everyone Acts Crazy Nowadays”, Nielson and crew continue to defy genres and expectations.)  

MIEN– “Earth Moon” (MIEN is an exciting new project featuring Alex Maas of The Black Angels, Tom Furse of The Horrors, Rishi Dhir of Elephant Stone and John-Mark Lapham of The Earlies.  Their self-titled debut album is out today on Rocket Recordings and isn’t what you might expect from these psych-rock champions.  Though just as psychedelic, they rely on samples, loops and synths as well as electronic rhythms instead of droning, fuzzed-out guitars for a unique sound that modernizes their 60’s psych-pop influences.)  

Khruangbin – “Maria También” (The experimental Texas trio - consisting of bassist Laura Lee, guitarist Mark Speer and drummer Donald Johnson - released their second album, Con Todo El Mundo in January on Dead Oceans.  Their well-travelled and cross-cultural bass-driven sound is influenced by surf-rock and Tarantino soundtracks but this time around they have added elements of 60’s and 70’s Iranian funk and soul music for a languid and almost pastoral vibe complete with thin, twisty guitar lines and percussion-heavy rhythms.)   

Thursday, April 05, 2018

Heartworn Highways Revisited

After its initial introduction in the early 70’s by Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and others; the rowdy and rebellious brand of country music dubbed “outlaw country” has seen resurgence in recent years, spearheaded by artists like Chris Stapleton and Sturgill Simpson.  In 1975 the documentary Heartworn Highways dove into the subject following pioneers of the genre on the stage, in the studio and up close and personal at home and featured interviews and performances from Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, David Allan Coe, Steve Young, Rodney Crowell, Gamble Rogers, Steve Earle, Barefoot Jerry and the Charlie Daniels Band.
To celebrate the film’s recent 40th anniversary, the original filmmaker Wayne Price has created HEARTWORN HIGHWAYS REVISITED, a new film that revisits the idea of the original film with new interviews from original outlaws Guy Clark, Steve Young and David Allan Coe while highlighting the next generation of Nashville-based "outlaws", with interviews and performances by John McCauley, Jonny Fritz, Nikki Lane, Josh Hedley, Justin Townes Earle, Shovels & Rope, Langhorne Slim, Robert Ellis, Andrew Combs, Shelly Colvin, Phil Hummer and more.   
Watch the trailer for Heartworn Highways Revisited here:

For more info or to order: &

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

SHOW ALERT: The National Homecoming

Indie rock institution The National originally hails from Cincinnati but eventually settled in Brooklyn and found international fame.  At the end of April, they will return home with a bunch of their musician and artist friends for their inaugural Homecoming Festival. 
Curated by The National and in association with MusicNOW, the Homecoming Festival will take place at Smale Park in Cincinnati on April 28 and 29.  The National will headline each night of the weekend and will perform their acclaimed album, The Boxer in its entirety on Sunday night to close out the show.  Also appearing are Dayton’s own alt-rock legends The Breeders as well as Feist, Father John Misty, Future Islands, Moses Sumney, Alvvays, Big Thief, Julien Baker and many more.    
In addition, the Dessner brothers, as part of the 13th installment of their MusicNOW series, have curated several simultaneous classical music and art events including, the Crash Ensemble performing Hans Abrahamsen’s Schnee and members of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra performing Andrew Norman’s The Companian Guide To Rome, as well as photography exhibitions and an installation by Icelandic multimedia artist Ragnar Kjartansson. 
For tickets and more info:
Stay tuned for more coverage and interviews later this month!

Friday, March 30, 2018

3 Songs: On Repeat

Jim Button & The Beholders – “Paradise” (Led by vocalist/guitarist Jim Button and featuring members of The Conquerors, El Rey-Tones and Bleachbloodz; the retro-minded K.C. based band has released two excellent digital EPs over the last six months on which they have crafted a fully-formed sound that seamlessly blends gentle, organ-drenched 60’s psych-pop, sunny surf rock and jangly heartland rock.  And now High Dive Records has combined both the Time Never Lies and Paradise EPs onto a limited cassette release, for the band’s first physical release.)

Kacey Musgraves – “High Horse” (The pop-country singer-songwriter is set to release her highly-anticipated third album, Golden Hour, today on MCA Nashville.  Musgraves continues to defy genre ideals on the excellent new album by adding in synth-driven dance-funk on the disco-inspired standout single, “High Horse” heard here.  Elsewhere, her melodies are more gossamer than glossy with elements of dream-pop and indie-folk, resulting in her most ambitious and best album yet.)        

Frankie Cosmos – “Jesse” (NY musician Greta Kline and her band – featuring bassist/vocalist David Maine, keyboardist/vocalist Lauren Martin, and drummer Luke Pyenson - continue to blaze a prolific path through indie-rock with the release of their third album, Vessel, out today on their new label, Sub Pop.  The 18-track album spans 33 minutes - double the running time of her debut album – and is highlighted by Kline’s passionately poetic and acutely-observational lyrics.  Musically, they layer on loads of sweet indie-pop melodies and harmonies alongside subtle synths and guitars that alternate from jangly to slightly fuzzy.)     

Stream It From The Mountain – Smug Brothers – Stray Domino (digital single)

Dayton indie-rock institution, Smug Brothers - led by Kyle Melton and Don Thrasher - have been putting out their brand of “mid-fi” power-pop and indie rock since 2005.  Since 2013, the band also included Brian Baker and Larry Evans and released three full-lengths and a couple of EPs during that time.  Today, they make their last transmission with this lineup, with the release of the 3-song Stray Domino digital single. 
The propulsive power-punk of “Get Some Sweet” leads things off and was recorded during the sessions for their last album, 2017’s Disco Maroon.  The last two tracks; the short and sweet acoustic “The Last Time Is Now” and “Verdict” with its cascading psych-pop and marching beat date back to 2014.    
While this may be the end of Smug Brothers as we have come to know it the last six years, we are promised more is yet to come!
Stream the Stray Domino digital single here:

Thursday, March 29, 2018

3 Songs: On Repeat – (Extended All Heavy Edition)

By The Grace of God – “A Forever Pledge” (Featuring members of Elliott, Guilt, Black Cross, Endpoint and others; the 90’s hardcore pioneers return with their first new material in over two decades.  The new 6-song EP, Above Fear is out tomorrow on State Of Mind Recordings and features their powerful yet melodic brand of hardcore punk alongside scathing political and fiery social commentary that speaks to these tumultuous times; urging action in the pit and the political arena.  A most welcome and timely return for a sorely missed band.  Check out the anthemic closing track with its hopeful message here.)

Zeke – “Working Man” (Seattle-based 90’s punk rock vets return tomorrow with Hellbender, their first album in over fourteen years.  Released on Relapse Records and produced by legend Jack Endino (Nirvana, High on Fire) the new album is fast, furious and the perfect soundtrack for driving, even though it will be over before you even pull out of the driveway with their short, to the point songs.  After 25 years as a band, they still crank out raging rock and roll mixed with speedy and aggressive punk rock with ageless attitude.  Check out their cover of Rush’s “Working Man” here, condensed into less than a minute and a half!  Not really, but that would be crazy!)   

Will Haven – “El Sol” (The Sacramento noise metal masters recently returned with their long-awaited sixth album, Muerte, out now on minus HEAD Records.  Their highly-influential debut album, El Diablo was released over 20 years ago and this new album rivals its predecessor with their most visceral and chaotic set of songs yet.  From the beginning, Will Haven and the Deftones have been kindred spirits and Stephen Carpenter contributes his trademark guitars to the epic, hauntingly atmospheric closing track heard here.)   

The Sword – “Twilight Sunrise” (The retro-minded Austin metal quartet recently released their sixth album, Used Future.  Change is evident in the new album – out now on Razor & Tie - with Tucker Martine (My Morning Jacket, The Decemberists) producing and more emphasis on melody over doomy heaviness with the use of stomping Led Zeppelin-esque riffs and rhythms and Thin Lizzy-like guitar melodies.  Check out the soaring, classic rock inspired melodies and tumbling rhythm of the standout single here.)

Iron Reagan & Gatecreeper – “Paper Shredder”/”War Has Begun” (Relapse Records recently released a split EP from two of their emerging bands - Iron Reagan and Gatecreeper.  Leading off is Iron Reagan with their caustic crossover-inspired hybrid of punk and metal that recalls D.R.I.  Closing out the EP is Arizona old school death metal revivalists Gatecreeper, who rip through three densely heavy and horrid tracks.  This new split EP is the perfect introduction for new fans.  Check out a song from each band below.)  
Stream: Iron Reagen – “Paper Shredder”
Stream: Gatecreeper – “War Has Begun”

Friday, March 23, 2018

3 Songs: On Repeat (Extended Edition)

Jack White – “Connected By Love” (Out today on Third Man/Columbia Records is Boarding House Reach, the third solo album from Jack White.  The new album - led by the dynamic lead single, “Connected By Love” with its warped synth-driven sound and Gospel-infused organ and background vocals – is his most experimental to date.  On top of the synths, White has added elements of hip-hop, electro-rock and funk to his trademark country, blues and rock sound to great effect.  Better yet, he will be touring again, all Spring and Summer long!)      

Courtney Marie Andrews – “Kindness Of Strangers” (Phoenix-based singer-songwriter Courtney Marie Andrews is set to release her fourth album May Your Kindness Remains today on Fat Possum/Mama Bird Recording Co.  Alongside a personal yet positive lyrical outlook, Andrews creates a beautiful blend of easy-going country and Californian folk-rock that is highlighted by her stunning soulful voice.)

Preoccupations – “Espionage” (The Canadian post-punk band’s third album, aptly-titled, New Material is out today on Jagjaguwar.  The album opens with “Espionage” and its clattering Krautrock-like groove, swirling synths and catchy call and response chorus. The standout single sets the tone for the rest of the album which displays a knack for melody that was not as pronounced previously, though just as dark and moody as ever.)          

Lucy Dacus – “Addictions” (The Richmond, VA-based indie-rock singer-songwriter recently released her highly-anticipated sophomore album, Historian, via Matador Records.  Led by her smooth yet dusky vocals and emotionally-charged lyrics that sway both personal and political; the new album is markedly more mature and improves upon her breakout 2016 debut album, avoiding the so-called “sophomore slump” entirely.)     

Rivers Of Nihil – “The Silent Life” (The experimental Pennsylvania-based metal quintet recently released their third album, Where Owls Know My Name, on Metal Blade Records. The new album continues the concepts brought forth on their previous two albums that were inspired by Spring and Summer with this album representing the season of Fall.  The band combines prog-metal technicality with dense death metal riffs and elements of folk and electronica along with bursts of jazz-inflected inspiration with skronking saxophone solos and disorientating time changes for their most ambitious and dynamic album yet.)          

Stone Temple Pilots – “Roll Me Under” (After suffering the death of two vocalists – the charismatic yet troubled original vocalist Scott Weiland and Chester Bennington of Linkin Park - in the last three years; brothers Robert and Dean DeLeo and drummer Eric Kretz continue on with a new vocalist and a new self-titled album out now on Rhino Records.  The recently recruited vocalist, Jeff Gutt – who first tasted fame on the TV singing competition X-Factor - adopts Weiland’s distinct wail almost too-perfectly but as always, the brothers DeLeo know their way around a glam-soaked and psychedelic hard-rock riff.  So if fans will give Gutt a chance, they will surely be satisfied.)