Friday, October 21, 2016

3 Songs: On Repeat

Obituary – “Loathe” (The Florida death metal pioneers will release a new album next spring but in the meantime have issued a new release, Ten Thousand Ways To Die.  Out today on Relapse Records, it features two new songs; the six-minute groove-leaden standout, “Loathe” and the blistering title track along with a set of twelve live recordings of their fan favorites and classics including, “Chopped In Half”, “Don’t Care”, “Slowly We Rot” and more.  A must have for old fans and a great introduction for new fans.)

No Nets – “Dark Matter” (The Brooklyn-based indie-rock band led by Sal Mastrocola is set to release their stellar sophomore album, Bright Light today.  Growing beyond a bedroom project, the new album boasts lyrical themes of marriage, growing up and getting old that are contrasted by bright, anthemic melodies and bristling with cagey energy; recalling both the emo/punk and guitar-led indie rock of the late 90’s.)

Jimmy Eat World – “Sure And Certain” (With all of the recent reunions rising out of the emo-era’s ashes, one of the biggest bands of that time has always been churning out great music and they are set to release their ninth album, Integrity Blues today via RCA Records.  Produced by M83 and Paramore producer Justin Meldal-Johnsen, the album is filled with their trademark anthemic hooks and emotionally-charged lyrics but the Arizona band doesn’t try to relive the past, instead they have experimented with different guitar sounds and synths a little more for yet another excellent album to add to their legend.)

Friday, October 14, 2016

3 Songs: On Repeat

Conor Oberst – “You Loved Him Once” (Conor Oberst returns with his latest solo album, Ruminations, out today on Nonesuch Records.  This album is the album fans of his early work have been wishing for.  The stripped-down acoustic arrangements feature only acoustic guitar, piano and harmonica alongside his distinct voice and poetic lyrical prowess.  The new songs written in the cold Nebraskan winter ache with emotion for his best album in years.)   
Stream Ruminations here (via NPR):

Red Fang – “Cut It Short” (The Portland heavy metal heavyweights are back today with their highly-anticipated fourth album, Only Ghosts via Relapse Records.  Produced by Ross Robinson, the stellar new album is filled with more of their hybrid hard rock that blends together effortlessly catchy and anthemic hooks disguised by thunderous, blues-soaked stoner rock guitar fuzz.  If rock radio still mattered, these guys would dominate alongside Foo Fighters and Queens of The Stone Age.)

Seeker – “Rot” (Loss, the aptly-titled new album from the Texas death metal trio led by vocalist/bassist Bryce Lucien is a raw and honest record of personal and professional loss.  Out now on Victory Records, the new album is stark, pummeling and emotionally-charged with grinding grooves and a throwback to 90’s metallic hardcore.)

Friday, October 07, 2016

3 Songs: On Repeat

Gatecreeper – “Stronghold” (The emerging Arizona-based death metal band is set to release their debut album, Sonoran Depravation today on Relapse Records.  Their retro-minded brand of metal isn’t overly technical, but brutally primal and harkens back to the late 80’s and early 90’s death metal sound with sludge-thick Entombed-like guitar riffs, vicious growls and slow, levelling Bolt Thrower-like grooves for an impressive debut that satisfies nostalgia while bringing their own unique and modern take on the old school sound.)   

Cowtown – “Motivational Speaker” (The Leeks, UK based post-punk trio recently released their fourth album, Paranormal Romance via Athens indie, Happy Happy Birthday to Me Records.  They blaze through 12 songs in 23 minutes, like a sugar rush and caffeine buzz rolled into one with their catchy melodies and quirky lyrics alongside propulsive synth bass lines, echoes of 80’s  New Wave and male/female vocal tradeoffs.)

Bon Iver – “29 #Strafford Apts” (Justin Vernon continues to stretch the boundaries of Bon Iver and musical genres altogether with his highly-anticipated third album, 22, A Million, out now via Jagjaguwar.  Strange and beautiful, he creates swirling synth-led symphonies and soundscapes like on the single, “10 Death/Breast” with its blown-out R&B beat, glitchy horns and gorgeous, soul-stirring vocals and the more folk-leaning standout, “29 #Strafford Apts” heard here.)           

Friday, September 30, 2016

3 Songs: On Repeat – Extended Edition

S U R V I V E – “A.H.B.” (With one half of the Austin-based band garnering huge praise this summer for their perfectly nostalgic score for the smash hit sci-fi/horror show Stranger Things on Netflix, the quartet is set to release their hotly-anticipated sophomore album, RR7349 today via Relapse Records.  They create a cosmic and hypnotically haunting atmosphere with warped synths for an inventive brand of instrumental post-rock that is evocative and cinematic; readymade for sci-fi and horror movie soundtracks and your upcoming Halloween party.)  

Justin Peter Kinkel-Schuster – “Laid Low” (JPKS of blues/folk duo Water Liars is releasing his debut solo album this week via Big Legal Mess/Fat Possum Records.  The stirring and organic new album, Constant Stranger was written and performed by JPKS himself and showcases his golden croon and descriptive folk narratives alongside blues-soaked and country-leaning folk-rock for an impressive and promising solo debut.)    

Brain Tentacles – “Kingda Ka” (Brain Tentacles is the new trio consisting of Bruce Lamont of Bloodiest and Yakuza, drummer Dave Witte of Publicist UK and Municipal Waste and Aaron Dallison of Keelhaul.  With a jazz and metal hybrid sound, their insane self-titled debut album - out today on Relapse Records - ditches guitars for skronking yet heavy saxophone riffs, strange synths and buzzing bass alongside staggering rhythms and complex grooves along with guest vocals from Oxbow’s Eugene Robinson and perfect production from Sanford Parker.)

Taking Back Sunday – “Tidal Wave” (As most bands of the era are reuniting and playing anniversary shows, the Long Island emo vets never really left and recently released the spirited new album, Tidal Wave, via Hopeless Records.  Their seventh album is led by the standout single and title track heard here which is a pumped up and extremely catchy old school punk rock anthem that’s more in line with the Rancid or the Replacements than the emo-punk of their past.  Elsewhere, the album dives into Americana-leaning folk-rock territory for something new and unexpected from the band.)   

Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam – “A 1000 Times” (The Walkmen frontman and Vampire Weekend instrumentalist team up for one of the best albums of the year with their eclectic yet cohesive collaborative debut, I Had A Dream That You Were Mine, out now on Glassnote Records.  The combination of Hamilton’s distinct, aching Dylan-esque howl and Rostam’s lived-in production - that includes syrupy strings, 80’s synths, doo-wop vocals and twinkling harpsichords - is the perfect match as they create an album that captures the glory and gloom of growing older, life and love.)

Friday, September 23, 2016

3 Songs: On Repeat

Flock Of Dimes – “Semaphone” (Flock Of Dimes is the new art-pop project from North Carolina-by-way-of-Baltimore based singer-songwriter Jenn Wasner also of Wye Oak and Dungeonesse.  Her long-awaited debut album, If You See Me, Say Yes, is out today on Partisan Records and though she is known for her impressive vocal range and guitar playing, this new project is more experimental with bright, lushly layered synth-pop melodies leading the way.  The album was written, performed, and produced by Wasner with help from frequent collaborators Mickey Freeland and Aaron Roche.)

LVL UP – “Spirit Was” (The New York based quartet released their third album and label debut for Sub Pop this week entitled, Return To Love.  Featuring sublimely catchy and blown-out fuzz-pop melodies alongside emotionally-charged abstract lyrical twists; the band wrestles with spirituality on their most fully formed and best album yet.  Fans of early Weezer, Built To Spill and Neutral Milk Hotel will find this album to be an instant classic!)       

Okkervil River – “Okkervil River R.I.P.” (Will Sheff approached – Away, out now via ATO Records - his latest and seemingly last album under the Okkervil River moniker as a solo album.  Leading up to the album many of the band members moved on and Sheff dealt with personal loss, so he shook things up and used jazz session players and created an organic album that leans more toward mellow folk and 70’s singer-songwriter with beautiful orchestral arrangements than the folk-leaning rock of previous albums.  The result is his deepest, most gorgeous album; a proper burial to the band name.)