Thursday, June 27, 2019

Stream It From The Mountain: Wolftooth – Wolftooth

The Richmond, Indiana metal band Wolftooth have been making a ton of noise in the metal scene across the world in a relatively short period of time.  The quartet featuring, vocalist/guitarist Chris Sullivan, bassist Terry McDaniel, guitarist Jeff Cole and drummer Johnny Harrod create a dense, riff-heavy hybrid that combines the best of 70’s hard rock and 80’s thrash and heavy metal along with catchy stoner rock melodies.
Their self-titled debut album was originally self-released by the band via their Bandcamp page, where it quickly climbed up the charts and was picked up by Pittsburgh’s Blackseed Records, who released it on CD and then by Copenhagen’s Cursed Tongue Records, who reissued it on vinyl.
It has now been re-released on CD via California's Ripple Music, who specialize in doom, psych and stoner metal.  
In addition to the standout tracks including, “Sword Of My Father” which is built upon a rollicking power metal riff and “Frost Lord” with its galloping riff and rhythm; the reissue includes a bonus track, "Withered Trees".  The new track was written during the original sessions then finished later to be included on the reissue and it rocks just as hard!       
Stream Wolftooth here:

Monday, June 24, 2019

Soundgarden – 35th Anniversary Vinyl Reissues

Soundgarden, the Seattle grunge pioneers, are celebrating the 35th anniversary of the band this year, having formed in 1984.  In celebration, A&M/UMe in conjunction with The Sound of Vinyl have begun an album of the month series, reissuing Soundgarden’s multi-platinum and genre-defining albums on limited edition color vinyl. 

The first three albums in the series includes their breakthrough 1991 album, Badmotorfinger, pressed unto 2 LPs of 180g marbled red and dark purple vinyl, along with an amazing, removable lenticular cover.  The set also features remastered audio from the album’s 25th anniversary reissue in 2016.   
Next, 1994’s mainstream masterpiece, Superunknown - celebrating its own 25th anniversary this year - is a 2LP set pressed unto 180g translucent red and orange vinyl that matches the album artwork and features remastered audio from the original analog tapes in 2014 and a lyric booklet.   
Finally, 1996’s Down On The Upside, also a 2LP set, is pressed onto 180g vinyl that is a stunning swirled orange and marbled lavender colorway. 
There is much more to come from Soundgarden’s 35th anniversary celebration this year so stay tuned!    
For more info:
In honor, here are three of my favorite Soundgarden tracks, one from each of these three albums.
Soundgarden – “Rusty Cage” from Badmotorfinger:

Soundgarden – “The Day I Tried To Live” from Superunknown:

Soundgarden – “Blow Up The Outside World” from Down On The Upside:

Friday, June 21, 2019

3 Songs: On Repeat

Fruit Bats – “Gold Past Life” (Eric D. Johnson returns with Gold Past Life, his seventh album under the Fruit Bats moniker and first for his new label home, Merge.  Johnson dresses up his latest collection of folk-rock songs with the honeyed hue of AM gold and the rhythmic bounce of 70’s disco, which aligns perfectly with his fantastic falsetto.  Additionally, the LP version comes with a bonus 7” containing non-album tracks “Shane” and the previously released “Getting in a Van Again”.  Watch the hilarious and nostalgic video for the title track here.)     

Willard Gayheart – “Ern & Zorry’s Sneakin’ Bitin’ Dog” (Hailing from Galax, Virginia, Willard Gayheart is the 87-year old grandfather of Americana star Dori Freeman and his long-awaited debut album, At Home In The Blue Ridge, is out now on Blue Hens Music.  The catalyst for the release of Gayheart’s music was when Freeman recorded an acapella version of his song, “Ern & Zorry’s Sneakin’ Bitin’ Dog” for her breakout album and it quickly became a fan favorite.  The album was recorded live in Gayheart’s frame shop and produced by Teddy Thompson and Ed Haber.  It’s a family affair as well, with Dori, her father Scott Freeman, and her husband, percussionist Nick Falk joining in.  Willard’s a vivid storyteller in the Appalachian folk fashion with a gentle voice and you just have to root for a project like this. Watch the animated video for the full band arrangement of the standout track, here.)         

Strobobean – “When You Won’t Look” (Strobobean is the new Cincy-based trio featuring Katrina Eresman formerly of Dayton duo strangewave and Pop Empire, Brianna Kelly of Soften and Jake Langknecht also of Pop Empire.  On their promising debut EP, Winter, the trio alternates between languid and crunchy 90’s alt. rock riffs, blending swirling melodies into their shoegaze/dream-pop hybrid sound.  Check out the psych-rock inspired standout single here, with its transfixing droning melodies and driving rhythm.)      

Thursday, June 20, 2019

SHOW ALERT: The National @ Express Live! in Columbus on June 24

The National recently released their eighth album, I Am Easy To Find, via 4AD and are currently on tour in support of the excellent new album.  The NYC-by-way-of-Cincy band will make a stop at Express Live! in Columbus on Monday, June 24 with Courtney Barnett as special guest. 
The 16-track album, I Am Easy To Find, continues to add new textures and colors to their sophisticated indie rock sound and is their most ambitious effort yet, balancing the synths and electronics of the Sleep Well Beast era with a focus on female vocalists.  Frontman Matt Berninger’s distinct baritone is complimented and even over-shadowed at times by the guest vocalists that include longtime collaborators Lisa Hannigan and Sharon Van Etten, as well as Mina Tindle, Kate Stables and Gail Ann Dorsey.  The result is gorgeous and not too over the top, which is a testament to their long-running career. 
Additionally, the album was produced by filmmaker/musician/designer Mike Mills, who also directed a moving, 24-minute short film, soundtracked by I Am Easy To Find and starring Alicia Vikander, to accompany the album.     
Watch the film below.  For more info click here:

Friday, June 14, 2019

3 Songs: On Repeat - Extended Edition

Lettuce – “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” (The long-running jazz/funk hybrids return today with their sixth album, Elevate.  Even after over 25 years as a band, they still sound fresh and experimental, incorporating touches of Ethiopian funk, Latin spice, bluesy soul and even trip-hop into their already expansive sound.  Check out their silky smooth cover of the Tears For Fears classic, “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” featuring a blissful vocal performance from keyboardist Nigel Hall, here.)    

Calexico And Iron & Wine – “Midnight Sun” (Calexico and Iron & Wine first collaborated in 2005, releasing the excellent EP, In the Reins.  Today they return with their long-awaited full-length follow up, Years to Burn, out now on Sub Pop.  With an improvisational spirit, Sam Beam, Joey Burns and John Convertino take their distinct individual sounds and turn them into something new entirely with elements of country, rock, folk and nearly everything in between.  It’s just a shame it took so long for this to happen but once you listen, you will be glad that it exists in the world.)     

The Head And The Heart – “Honeybee” (In less than a decade, The Head And The Heart have evolved from indie-folk darlings to full-fledged Coachella-pop heavyweights.  Their recently released fourth album, Living Mirage, out now on Warner Records is more dynamic and pop-leaning; having been produced by the duo of Tyler Johnson and Alex Salibian, best known for producing Harry Styles and Sam Smith.  The result is as anthemic and life-affirming as ever with the addition of hip-hop inspired production, Gospel-soaked melodies and a road-worn maturity.)         

Silversun Pickups – “Freakazoid” (The California quartet recently released their fifth album, Widow’s Weeds, on their own label, New Machines Recordings.  Produced by Butch Vig, it is their most immediate and striking album yet with loads of catchy hooks bursting from their layered sound which features Cure-like synths and soaring strings.  Lyrically, it may their most personal and revealing as well yet with a positive spin and themes of renewal.  The standout single here with its 80’s production and positive message is the perfect example.)   

Rat Fancy – “RIP Future” (The L.A.-based quartet led by Diana Barraza and Gregory Johnson recently released their highly-anticipated debut album, Stay Cool, via HHBTM Records/Solidarity Club. Produced by David Newton of 80’s indie-poppers The Mighty Lemon Drops; their debut offers a nostalgic 90’s-inspired brand of power-pop and pop-punk with a sweet side of twee.  Lyrically, Barraza skews personal and slightly political but remains unashamed and witty.)        

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

PREMIERE: Sadbox – “Carry It Close”

Dayton's Sadbox - featuring members of The 1984 Draft - are set to release their debut album, The Magic Nothing at a record release show at The Yellow Cab on June 28. Also playing are Salvadore Ross and Age Nowhere.   
Led by vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Paul Levy, along with guitarist Eli Alban (also of the 1984 Draft), bassist Ryan Goudy and drummer Ray Owens; Sadbox creates an infectiously catchy, 90's inspired brand of indie rock on their debut album, The Magic Nothing.     
Atlas and the Anchor is proud to premiere the album’s opening track, "Carry It Close".  The propulsive track is a swirl of 90's alt. rock and psych-pop melodies, reminiscent of a more unhinged Stone Temple Pilots.  It is the perfect introduction to the band and sets the tone for the rest of the album.    
Stream “Carry It Close”:

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Stream It From The Mountain: Carousel Kings – Plus Ultra

The Pennsylvania-based pop-punk quartet, Carousel Kings, recently released their fourth album, Plus Ultra, via Victory Records.  The new album finds the band in top form; spicing insanely catchy pop-leaning melodies with heavy riffs and adding in electronic elements, ukulele and saxophone for the first time to great effect.   
Vocalist David Alexander, guitarist/vocalist Will Barovick, bassist/vocalist Cody Wiliams and drummer Danny Wilkins are joined in the studio by a host of guest contributors including, Lexxe, Spencer Charnas of Ice Nine Kills, Rory Rodriguez of Dayseeker, Pete Zengerle and Bill Cardella of Hang Tight and many more.
Standouts among the album’s 11 tracks include, the single “Move Slow” featuring the complimentary vocals of Lexxe, the soaring and anthemic “Shellshocked” with Spencer of Ice Nine Kills, the insistently-propulsive “Lock Meowt”, the reggae-tinged “Shelter” and the 80’s-inspired closer “Jameis Vu” with its glimmering synths and hair metal-like guitar runs.  
Over the years, Victory Records has been home to the cream of the crop in pop-punk; Taking Back Sunday, Thursday, Hawthorne Heights, A Day To Remember.  With their excellent new album, Plus Ultra, you can now add Carousel Kings to that list.
Stream Plus Ultra here:

Monday, June 10, 2019

Bob Dylan – The Rolling Thunder Revue: The 1975 Live Recordings

 Out now on Columbia Records/Legacy Recordings is the latest Bob Dylan archival release titled, The Rolling Thunder Revue: The 1975 Live Recordings.  In the fall of 1975, Dylan put together an all-star band featuring, T Bone Burnett, Mick Ronson, Joan Baez, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Bobby Neuwirth, Scarlett Rivera and many more; and played smaller venues with a carnival-like atmosphere.  The shows were joyful and celebratory, relaxed and fun with Dylan handing the spotlight to his talented friends for a lot of the show, which lasted nearly four hours each night.  It was a true rock spectacle with elements of glam and vaudeville and these performances have long been considered Bob Dylan at his best.    

Live recordings from this era were previously released as a 2CD set, as volume 5 in the ongoing Bootleg Series and before that as the live album, Hard Rain (though it chronicled the second, leg of the tour).  This new, expansive anthology, with 148 tracks – 113 previously unreleased – spanning 14 discs, collects all five of the professionally recorded performances during the first leg of Dylan’s 1975 tour, dubbed, “The Rolling Thunder Revue”.  The tracklist for each show was similar in structure with a handful of hits sprinkled in with a majority of the songs – “Hurricaine”, “Isis”, “Romance In Durango”, “Sara”, Oh, Sister” and “One More Cup Of Coffee (Valley Below)” – that later would become Dylan’s 1976 album, Desire.  A highlight each night was a back-to-basics set with Bob and Baez singing some of their earlier folk tunes such as “Blowin’ In The Wind”.  Each show closed out with a spirited performance of “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” and a campfire-like cover of Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land.”
The collection is highlighted by the three discs of recordings of their rehearsals at S.I.R. studios in New York and the Seacrest Motel in Falmouth, MA.  Standouts include a jovial, laughter-filled incomplete run-through of “She Belongs to Me” on the first disc and a lively, seamless medley of “This Wheel’s On Fire/Hurricane/All Along The Watchtower” on the second disc.  The 14th disc is filled with bonus tracks featuring, rare performances recorded during rehearsals and from fan-captured recordings during the tour.  A booklet featuring rare and never seen photos and an insightful and informational essay by novelist/musician Wesley Stace completes the package.  For vinyl lovers, a reissue of The Bootleg Series Volume 5 has been released on vinyl for the first time since 2002, as a 3LP and 64-page booklet.    
In listening to these recordings, it is evident that Dylan and his band gelled in such a short period of time and is a testament to the talent involved and how fun for the fans and rejuvenating these shows were at the time for Bob.    
 Additionally, this anthology serves as the soundtrack and companion piece to the new film, “Rolling Thunder Revue – A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese”, premiering June 12 on Netflix.          
To order or for more info:   
Watch the trailer for “Rolling Thunder Revue – A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese”:

Friday, June 07, 2019

3 Songs: On Repeat – Extended Edition

As Cities Burn – “Chains” (The Louisiana-based progressive post-hardcore band returns after a ten year hiatus with a stunning new album, Scream Through The Walls, out today on Equal Vision Records.  The Bonnette brothers reunite for the first time since their 2005 debut and the result is as anthemic and frenetic as you would expect with new experimental elements and the perfect balance of melody and aggression.  Catch them on tour in support of the new album this summer.)

The Aggrolites – “Groove Them Move Them” (The recently released REGGAE NOW!, is The Aggrolites’ long-awaited sixth full-length and debut for their new label home, Pirates Press Records.  Following a six year hiatus, the “dirty reggae” crew led by vocalist Jesse Wagner and organist Roger Rivas bring a punk-inspired garage-band’s mentality to their trademark brand of retro-minded reggae that incorporates elements of Motown and funk as well.  The new album does not disappoint with gritty bangers, danceable instrumentals and a sly sense of humor.)

Big Thief – “Cattails” (The Brooklyn quartet consisting of Adrianne Lenker, Buck Meek, Max Oleartchik and James Krivchenia recently released their highly-anticipated third album and first for their new label, 4AD, titled,  U.F.O.F. The new album – easily their best effort yet - marries hushed folk rock and atmospheric dream-pop, turning it into something hypnotic and built for quiet moments.  They may have titled their debut album, Masterpiece, and it lived up to the title but the third time’s the charm for Big Thief.)

Amyl and The Sniffers – “Monsoon Rock” (The Australian garage-punk band led by the fierce and fiery vocalist Amy Taylor recently released their self-titled debut album via ATO Records.  The promising debut is a fun, punk-informed blast of nostalgic rock and roll complete with ripping guitars solos, shout-along refrains, mullets and explosive energy.  It is quite the debut and the perfect soundtrack to a summer filled with long nights and bad decisions!)    

Morrissey –  “Only A Pawn In their Game” (British alt-pop pioneer, Morrissey may be making more headlines now for his polarizing political views but his inimitable and seemingly ageless voice is still as smooth as ever.  The proof is in his latest album, California Son - out now on Étienne Records/BMG – a covers compilation of some of Moz’s favorite 60’s and 70’s songs.  The 80’s legend puts his unique spin on songs that he grew up listening to from Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon, The Fifth Dimension, Gary Puckett and more.  In the studio, he is assisted by a host of guests including, Petra Haden, Ed Droste of Grizzly Bear, Sameer Gadhia of Young The Giant and Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong.  Be sure to catch Morrissey on tour this summer with openers, Interpol.  Check out the Bob Dylan cover featuring Petra Haden here.) 

Wednesday, June 05, 2019

SHOW ALERT: The Slackers at Levitt Pavilion 6/7

The Slackers are set to bring their distinct blend of reggae, soulful R&B, 50’s rock and roll, jazz and ska to the Leviitt Pavilion stage for a free concert on Friday, June 7.  Led by vocalist/keyboardist Vic Ruggiero and featuring saxophonist David Hillyard; the New York City-based band formed in 1991 and are best known for their sophomore album, Redlight, released on Hellcat/Epitaph Records in 1997, led by the single, “Watch This”.  The band has remained active, releasing nearly a dozen albums since with the latest being an excellent self-titled release in 2016.  Members of The Slackers have performed solo and in other projects including, Stubborn All-Stars, Hepcat, The Hall Trees, Crazy Baldhead Sound System and David Hillyard & The Rocksteady Seven, and more.   
Additionally, ORG Music recently released a vinyl reissue of David Hillyard & The Rocksteady Seven’s debut album, Playtime, in celebration of its 20th anniversary.   Available on vinyl for the very first time and originally released via Hellcat/Epitaph Records in 1999, Playtime is a mostly instrumental affair that highlights Hillyard’s deft compositional and saxophone skills with a blend of rootsy and danceable Jamaican-flavored jazz and world music.  Guest vocalists include Alex Desert and Greg Lee. 
Pick up Playtime on vinyl for the first time here:
Be sure to check out The Slackers’ energetic live show at the Levitt Pavilion on Friday!  More info here:

To get you in the mood for the show, here are 3 Songs; two from The Slackers and one from David Hillyard & The Rocksteady Seven.

The Slackers – “Watch This” (The standout single taken from their 1999 sophomore album, Redlight.)  
David Hillyard & The Rocksteady Seven – “Father and Son” (A rousing romp taken from the newly-reissued album, Playtime.)
The Slackers – “The Boss” (The single from their most recent studio album, The Slackers, released in 2016.)

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:

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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: