Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Say My Name – “Malaise Forever”

Lawrence, Kansas indie-electronic producer Say My Name is set to drop a new collection of tape strangulations and experimental sound collages with his stellar new album, Malaise Forever, out today digitally and on limited edition cassette via new San Francisco based label Foreign Domestic. 
With a deft mix of electronic and organic instrumentation, The Kid has created a headphones-worthy world of wonders with glassy, mesmerizing synths like on the chilled-out standout track, “Ahistoric” and jittery rhythms and smoldering synths like on “Nordberg”, which also samples vocals from Jordan Geiger of Hospital Ships.  Other standouts on the 9-track album include the title track, “Malaise Forever” which opens the album sounding like a warped tape being eaten alive in a Sony Walkman before dissolving into a cosmic industrial motorik offset by trumpet and violin and “Oklahoma Chrome” and its stuttering beat and layers of glimmering synths.   

Stream and purchase Malaise Forever here:

For more info: http://soundcloud.com/say-my-name and https://twitter.com/SayMyName_1985

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

3 Songs: On Repeat

The Afghan Whigs – “The Lottery” (After a long sixteen-year hiatus Greg Dulli’s crew return with their hotly-anticipated new album, Do To The Beast, out now on original label, Sub Pop.  Though the songs lean more toward the dark cinematics of the Twilight Singers, it has always been Dulli’s husky and soulful R&B-inflected croon that has taken the spotlight and does so once again but with new elements like heavy guitars and girl-group melodies on the new album that does not disappoint.)  http://www.theafghanwhigs.com/

High Desert – “Disappeared” (The new electronic-leaning project of former Shins keyboardist/guitarist Marty Crandall and producer Nick Noeding Jr. released their self-titled debut album this week.  Hazy layers of 80’s-like synths and danceable rhythms combine with introspective lyrics and infectious dream-pop melodies for a very promising debut.)  https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/high-desert/id849770754

The Crookes – “Play Dumb” (The prolific Sheffield, UK quartet released Soapbox, their third album and second in the U.S., this week via Modern Outsider Records.  The band’s nostalgia-inducing “new-pop” style incorporates The Smith’s swooning romanticism with punchy Cure-like rhythms along with hints of 50’s rock swagger and 60’s pop melodies for a catchy collection of energetic indie rock anthems.)   http://modernoutsider.com/TheCrookes.aspx

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Record Store Day – Saturday, April 19, 2015

The seventh annual Record Store Day is this Saturday!
The organizers for the annual Record Store Day have teamed up with almost every leading indie label and even some major labels to release limited edition exclusives just for the occasion.  The event has been a big part of the resurgence in the popularity of vinyl over that last few years.   
Check out http://www.recordstoreday.com for more info including the participating record stores in your area and a list of the exclusive releases available.

Here is a list of the records I will be seeking out:
The Black AngelsClear Lake Forest 10” (RSD first release with 7 new tracks)
Close Your Eyes - Prepackaged Hope 7” (2 new songs and 2 acoustic tracks)
Circa Survive/Sunny Day Real Estate - Split 7" (First new song from SDRE since 2000!)
Creepoid - Wet EP 12” (4 new tracks on the A-side with an etching on the B-side on Graveface Records) Stream “Truth” here: http://soundcloud.com/noisyghostpr/04-truth
Dawes/Conor Oberst - Split 7” (The two bands cover each other in the split single tradition)
Death Cab For Cutie Featuring Magik*Magik Orchestra - Live 2012 (Double vinyl live album)
Liars - Mess on a Mission 12” single (Clear vinyl with yarn inside!)
Songs: Ohia - Journey On: Collected Singles 7” Box Set (RSD first release singles collection)
Tears For FearsReady Boys & Girls 10” (Covers of Arcade Fire, Hot Chip and Animal Collective)

If you are in the Dayton, Ohio area be sure to check out Omega Music in the Oregon District, http://omegamusicdayton.com/ they have an impressive lineup of Dayton-area bands scheduled for in-store performances starting at noon until 9 pm including Human Cannonball, Me Time, Smug Brothers and Magic Jackson.
Toxic Beauty Records in Yellow Springs also offers up a huge selection of RSD releases!  Check them out here: www.toxicbeautyrecords.com/ and www.facebook.com/ToxicBeautyRecords
If you are in Cincinnati, check out Shake It Records here: http://www.shakeitrecords.com/Shakeit-store.html   

I hope to see you there!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Free Friday: Adagio Blue – "Ordovician Fission"

Ordovician Fission, the stunning debut studio album from the Cincinnati-based quartet, Adagio Blue was originally released by Alpha Dawg Records in 2008 to great praise.  The band is now offering the album as a free download via Noisetrade and it sounds just as innovative and fresh as it did over six years ago! 
Adagio Blue is a post- modern instrumental, melodic jazz-funk fusion band from Ohio; the brainchild and side project of guitarist/songwriter Jay Brunner (of Johnny B and the Gravediggers) and bassist/songwriter Chris Rhoton along with keyboardist Matt Hall and drummer Mark Becknell.
All of the songs were recorded in a live band setting with no overdubs. Most songs were recorded in just one or two takes, which is a testament to the experience and talent these four members exude. They have more chops than a butcher shop! Comparable to the avant-garde jazz of Medeski, Martin & Wood, the retro-funk of Lettuce and Soulive, with touches of prog-rock and blues, Adagio Blue blur the lines of classification.
Standout track "Second Of Six" starts out with a dueling guitar and bass race before giving way to a walking bass line and noodling guitar riff that should make every jam band envious.  Other standouts include, "Laurentian Kid", an organ drenched blues rock rave-up with funky slap bass and a stop/start rhythm and the title track, "Ordovician Fission" which incorporates twinkling keys alongside a Primus-like guitar line that dissolves into a dissonantly distorted jazz freak-out. 

Download Ordovician Fission on Noisetrade here:

For more info: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Adagio-Blue/261971423279 and http://alphadawgrecords.com/ADR6/slide/the-adagio-blue-collection/

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

3 Songs: On Repeat

Protomartyr - “Scum, Rise!” (The genre-defiant Detroit quartet released their sophomore album, Under Color Of Official Right this week on their new label home, Hardly Art.  They blend textures of gritty post-punk and old school Misfits-like punk with more experimental hints of R&B and an off-kilter pop sense into a sound of their own that is dark and depraved yet hopeful and triumphant, just like their hometown.) http://www.hardlyart.com/protomartyr.html   

Rasputin’s Secret Police – “Kids With No Friends” (The Philly duo of Brandon Ayres and Josh Phillips create a fuzzed-out and poppy brand of post-grunge/punk rock with the thick guitar sound of Chicago-based 90’s alt-rock bands Hum and Menthol on their new album, Comfortable, out now via new Austin cassette label Fleeting Youth Records.  The lead track and single here is a nice slice of 90’s nostalgia with pounding drums, abrasive guitars and plenty of anthemic sing-along moments.)  https://fleetingyouthrecords.bandcamp.com/album/rasputins-secret-police-comfortable

 King Of Prussia – “Actuary” (Led by Brandon Hanick, the Athens, GA-based collective’s epic new double-album, Zonian Girls…And The Echoes That Surround Us All is out now via Minty Fresh and features a dark and light side.  The ringing and rollicking piano-led twee-throwback tune complete with brassy horns and a super-catchy refrain here stands out and recalls early Belle and Sebastian.) http://kingofprussiamusic.com/   
Download: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/38730955/mp3/kingofprussia_actuary.mp3

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

The Faint - "DOOM ABUSE"

After a lengthy hiatus, The Faint return renewed with DOOM ABUSE, their sixth album, out today via SQE Music.  Their last album, Fascination was released in 2008 and left the band burned-out and ready for new artistic outlets but with the anniversary of their landmark album, Danse Macabre in 2011, came a tour and celebration of the band that reignited the flame.  DOOM ABUSE is just as raw, immediate, moody and danceable as ever, like no time has passed.     
Lead off track and first single, “Help In The Head” features a propulsive rhythm with a rumbling bass line, scratchy synths and a delirious sing-along chorus.  It also introduces Todd Fink’s lyrical theme for the album as he sings about the brain and human psyche, with song titles like, “Mental Radio”, the primal “Animal Needs” and “Loss Of Head”.  Likewise, the guitar-led standout track “Evil Voices” most closely resembles their classic sound with an aggressive dance beat and a catchy vocal cadence.   Another standout, “Salt My Doom” is built upon a hard-charging mechanical beat and swirling guitars for nearly 2-and-a-half minutes of unrelenting punk rock attitude.  The noise-addled “Scapegoat” is filled with almost every synth sound imaginable, gurgling, pinging, squealing and squalling that should be a live favorite for both the band and audience.  The twelve-track album closes out with the haunting and hazy-layered “Damage Control” with its melancholic yet melodic 80’s synth-pop sound.        

Download “Help In The Head” here: http://soundcloud.com/sqemusic/the-faint-help-in-the-head
For more info: http://thefaint.com/

(photo credit: Bill Sitzmann)

Friday, April 04, 2014

Free Friday: Ghosty - "Ghosty"

Ghosty, the K.C. based indie rock trio led by singer/guitarist Andrew Connor released their stellar self-titled album earlier this week on vinyl and CD via High Dive Records.  To celebrate, they are offering up the digital version of the album as a name-your-price download via their Bandcamp page. 

The album showcases their slinky brand of Shins-like indie-pop that is bolstered by clever, catchy lyrics and Motown-inspired melodies and grooves.  Driven by the super-tight rhythm section of bassist Mike Nolte and drummer Bill Belzer, the lead-off track “Joy In My Sorrow” is highlighted by twinkling pianos and soaring vocal harmonies for a standout moment on an album filled with them.  Another standout, “Sharpening Swords” features a propulsive rhythm, a strutting bass line, cascading guitars and Andrew’s melancholic melodies.       

Download the Ghosty LP here: http://ghostysounds.com/album/ghosty-2  
Order the physical product here: www.highdiverecords.com

Stream and Download “Joy in My Sorrow” here:

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

3 Songs: On Repeat

 Saintseneca – “Blood Bath” (The Columbus, OH based indie-folk band’s excellent new album, Dark Arc was released this week on their new label Anti- Records.  Led by singer and multi-instrumentalist Zac Little, they create a clattering and chaotic yet highly melodic style of punk-inspired Appalachian folk with stomping percussion, forceful acoustic instrumentation and enough catchy pop smarts to hold it all together.) http://saintseneca.com/      

Pure X – “Heaven” (The Austin quartet released their stunning third album, Heaven this week via Fat Possum.  Recorded mostly live with minimal overdubs, the new record shows the band comfortable in their skin and shines the light on their slow and syrupy rhythms along with lush layers of jangly guitars, silky synths, and pastoral country-leaning melodies for a chilled-out vibe.) http://www.fatpossum.com/artists/pure-x   

Split Single – “Waiting For The Sun” (The new project from well-regarded indie vet Jason Narducy (formerly of Verbow and Verböten) along with Britt Daniel of Spoon and Jon Wurster of Superchunk.  After touring in Superchunk and Bob Mould’s band, Jason got back to writing again after a nearly eight year-long lull and the resulting album showcases his classic-styled power indie-pop.  The first single here is a nice slice of melancholic psych-pop with stair-stepping synths, tumbling drums and soaring vocal harmonies for the perfect introduction.)  http://www.splitsinglemusic.com/   

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Massacre - "Back From Beyond"

Legendary Florida Death metal pioneers, Massacre return this week after more than twenty years with the highly-anticipated release of their crushing and aptly-titled new album, Back From Beyond via Century Media Records.  Original guitarist Rick Rozz (Mantas/Death) with his trademark brutal riffs and dive-bombing leads along with bassist Terry Butler (Death, Obituary) and his signature elastic bass lines return and are rounded out by new drummer, Mike Mazzonetto (Pain Principle) and new vocalist Ed Webb (Diabolic, Destined To Ruin) who proves to be more than capable, armed with a more coherent growl as original grunter, Kam Lee is missing in action.
 The fourteen track album - recorded and mixed by Tim Vazquez of FL’s CGM Studios - is highlighted by the pummeling, mud-thick title track, “Back From Beyond” (which also comes with a grisly yet campy video animated by Doug Cook) and the lead single, “As We Wait To Die” with its unrelenting rhythm, squealing guitar solo and  ambivalent lyrical attitude.  Another standout, "Honor The Fallen" was written in tribute to the late, Jeff Hanneman of Slayer.        
The album’s cover art was created by Toshihiro Egawa and references the art of From Beyond.  The deluxe edition of the album includes two bonus tracks; covers of two Death classics, “Corpsegrinder” and “Mutilation” which features lead guitars frm guest James Murphy (Death, Obituary, Testament). 
Even after a 23-year wait, Massacre delivers the true successor to their acclaimed 1991 debut, From Beyond with their new album, Back From Beyond, playing the same killer brand of Florida death metal they pioneered.     

Stream “As We Wait To Die” here:

For more info: www.massacremetal.com

Friday, March 28, 2014

Free Friday: HANDS IN - "Polyester Itch"

HANDS IN is the solo project of Erick Crosby of Portland, OR psych-pop band Yourself And The Air.  With YATA on hiatus, HANDS IN now gets his full attention and his latest album Polyester Itch proves to be his most realized and cohesive yet with sharper vocal melodies and more focused song structures.            
Standout track, “Way Out” opens with a propulsive motorik groove as trebly flickering guitars, falsetto vocals and 60’s pop melodies take over.  Next, “Good Deeds” is highlighted by cascading guitars before dissolving into spaced-out Middle Eastern psychedelics and “Drivers” is crazed, reverb-rich surf rock on acid for a nice one-two punch.  Another standout “Take Time Enough” blends together plinking electric piano, pitch-shifting vocal effects and the album’s catchiest melodies.  The nine-track album closes out with the infectious hip-swiveling rhythm of the aptly-titled “Girls Are Gonna Dance”. 

Download Polyester Itch here:     

For more info:  http://www.handsinmusic.blogspot.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/HANDSIN

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

3 Songs: On Repeat

Liars – “Mess On A Mission” (The off-kilter art-punk trio return with their highly-anticipated new album, Mess out now on Mute.  The vividly colorful, catchy and cathartic lead single showcases the album’s brighter synth-heavy sound and anxiously twitchy yet danceable rhythms.) http://liarsliarsliars.com/    

Ages And Ages – “Divisionary (Do The Right Thing)” (Sounding something like a neo-folk Broken Social Scene, the 6-piece collective led by Tim Perry released their stellar sophomore album, Divisionary this week via Partisan Records.  The feel-good Gospel-inflected closing title track here is the perfect introduction to their infectious and inspiring folk-pop sound that is layered with braided soulful vocal harmonies, spirited handclaps and stomping beats.)   http://www.agesandages.com/

Glass Wands – “Silverleaf” (Glass Wands is the solo instrumental project of Alabama-based composer, Brooks Tipton who has played keyboards and such for Thursday, Bear Colony and Unwed Soldier but he brings an entirely different energy to his self-titled debut album out now via Esperanza Plantation.  Along with longtime collaborator Chase Pagan he creates moody and textural neo-classical compositions with complex layers of pianos and strings that blur the lines of classification, incorporating elements of post-rock grandeur and atmospheric folk for a promising debut.  The haunting yet chilled-out vibe of the opening track and single here is a highlight.) http://glasswands.bandcamp.com/     
Download: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/38730955/mp3/glasswands_silverleaf.mp3

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Hold Steady - "Teeth Dreams"

The Hold Steady mark their return today with the release of Teeth Dreams, their long-awaited sixth album and debut for their own imprint, Positive Jams in conjunction with Washington Square, an imprint of Razor & Tie.  The new album, produced by Nick Raskulinecz (Foo Fighters, Alice in Chains) is their first studio recording with new guitarist Steve Selvidge (ex-Lucero) and the three-pronged guitar attack figures prominently into their more straight-forward rock-focused sound as does frontman Craig Finn’s signature witty and dense storytelling.  The album title comes from the idea that when you dream about teeth, you are anxious and the lyrics incorporate themes of paranoia, anxiety and the like.    
The ringing guitars, propulsive rhythm and wordy verses of album opener, “I Hope This Whole Thing Didn’t Frighten You” is a nice welcome back.  The standout first single, “Spinners” follows and is built upon a hard-charging rhythm and a soaring, Springsteen-like chorus.  Later, “The Ambassador” slows things down a bit with pretty piano and guitar interplay and earnestly aching vocal melodies.  Another standout track, “Big Cig” is hefty slice of roadhouse rock with a rumbling, fuzzed-out bass line, melodic guitar solo and a catchy, call-and-response-esque chorus.  “Runner’s High” is another bluesy rocker with guitars that alternate between chugging on the verses and cascading on the chorus.  The ten-track album closes out with the lighters-in-the-air ballad, “Oaks” with its hopeless yet hopeful lines; “…we dream of the views from boats, of mountains covered in oaks, and we hope…” and smoldering, extended guitar solo. 
The Hold Steady have returned from hiatus with the highly-anticipated Teeth Dreams, and delivered with yet another great, "album of the year" worthy indie rock album to add to their impressive canon.      

Stream “I Hope This Whole Thing Didn’t Frighten You” here:

For more info: http://theholdsteady.net/ and http://washingtonsquaremusic.com/

Monday, March 24, 2014

Stream It From The Mountain: Hew Time - "Hew Time"

Hew Time is the all drum and percussion project from Dale Crover (The Melvins), Joe Plummer (Modest Mouse, The Shins) and Coady Willis (Big Business, The Melvins).  Spearheaded by Plummer and inspired by the legendary jazz drummer and bebop pioneer, Max Roach; together the trio creates mesmerizing and methodical poly-rhythms and grooves that lean towards jazz and tribal, world music along with elements of their prior projects before dissolving into clattering punk-fuelled chaos. 
As a drummer myself, I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall during these recordings! 
The first edition black and gold vinyl was limited to 500 and has already sold out prior to its 03/25 release date but the second pressing on all gold is due out 4/15 from Joyful Noise Recordings with the digital version available tomorrow.      

Stream the 10-track self-titled debut from Hew Time here:  

For more info: http://www.joyfulnoiserecordings.com/hew-time/

Friday, March 21, 2014

SHOW ALERT: Josh Berwanger @ the Motr Pub in Cincinnati on Saturday, 03/22

Josh Berwanger (formerly of The Anniversary) is currently on tour in support of his debut solo album, Strange Stains, out now via Good Land Records.  The excellent album showcases his distinct brand of melodic indie rock that incorporates everything from classic rock, power-pop, folk and even elements of hair metal. 

Berwanger and his band will be making a stop on Saturday, March 22 at Cincinnati’s Motr Pub on 1345 Main St.  Don't miss it!     

Download the infectious first single, “Baby Loses Her Mind” here:

For tour dates and more info: http://berwangermusic.com/ and http://www.motrpub.com/

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

3 Songs: On Repeat

Lyla Foy – “Feather Tongue” (The UK’s Lyla Foy used to create haunting, minimalist synth-pop under the moniker WALL but is now set to release her debut album, Mirrors The Sky under her own name via Sub Pop this week.  The standout single here, with its beautifully fragile vocal melodies and infectiously bouncy bleeps offer the perfect introduction to her organic electronic soundscapes.) http://www.lylafoy.com/

The War On Drugs – “Red Eyes” (For his highly-anticipated third album, Lost In The Dream - out now on Secretly Canadian - Adam Granduciel expanded the project into a full band and the result is his best and most ambitious album yet with Springsteen-like saxophone solos, anthemic emotional melodies and soaring synthetic strings to go along with his voice now given the spotlight.) http://www.thewarondrugs.net/      

The Estranged – “Another Stab” (The Portland trio made up of former members of Remains Of The Day released their self-titled third album this week on Dirtnap Records.  They create an interesting and energetic blend of spiky post-punk and 80’s British new wave for a sound that brings to mind Robert Smith of the Cure fronting The Troggs.) http://www.dirtnaprecs.com/website/  
Stream: http://soundcloud.com/dirtnap-records/the-estranged-another-stab

Friday, March 14, 2014

Free Friday: Jettison Tape – “Second Sleep”

Jettison Tape is the experimental new project from Brooklyn-based musician Dave Fischoff who used to record under his own name for Secretly Canadian Records before diving into film composing and then remixing and producing dance music and hip-hop under the moniker, Spoolwork. 

Second Sleep, his debut album as Jettison Tape is an all instrumental blend of his past projects including, found recordings and loops created from “jettisoned” tapes bought in thrift stores, haunting yet gorgeous cinematic flourishes, danceable hip-hop inspired beats, and hints of swirling 60’s psychedelics that create a layered and complex headphones-worthy soundtrack to a strange world that is easy to get lost in.
Second Sleep is available as a name-your-price download via the Jettison Tape Bandcamp page here: http://jettisontape.bandcamp.com/
Stream and download the 80’s-inspired single, “Night Driver” with its driving beat, glimmering synths and side-winding guitars here:

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

3 Songs: On Repeat

Angel Olsen – “HI-FIVE” (The singer-songwriter’s highly-anticipated sophomore album, Burn Your Fire for No Witness was released last month on Jagjaguwar.  Incorporating fuzzed-out guitars, rollicking piano, a loping beat and some “tear-in-your-beer” classic Country & Western twang and emotion; Olsen displays her vulnerable yet powerful voice on the standout single.)  http://jagjaguwar.com/artist.php?name=olsenangel   

Dreamtigers – “Never Know” (The new project from Jake Woodruff of hardcore band Defeater and Andrew Gary along with Joe Longobardi (Defeater) and Mike Moschetto, released their debut album, Wishing Well via Broken Circle Records last month.  Including guests from Caspian and Balmorhea, the album showcases the duo’s melodic and nostalgia-inducing folk and indie rock style that comes complete with close-knit harmonies and euphoric anthems for a promising debut.) http://brokencircles.com/artists/dreamtigers/

Temples – “Mesmerise” (The UK quartet and so-called “retro-futurists” recently released their stunning debut album, Sun Structures via Fat Possum Records on which they create a psychedelic haze of snake-charming melodies and Byrds-like guitar jangle along with elements of glam and folk thrown in for a mind-blowing sound that sounds both retro and modern all at once.)  http://templestheband.com/
Stream: http://soundcloud.com/templesofficial/temples-mesmerise

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Danny & His Fantasy + Christian Gough – Self-Titled Split Album

The Cincinnati-based psych-pop band Healing Power/Pomegranates split late last year and member Joey Cook has emerged with his new solo project, Danny & His Fantasy.  As Danny, he indulges in glittery danceable 80’s synth-pop that retains his knack for quirky melodies and has just released a self-titled split album with Christian Gough of fellow Cincy band, The Yugos as a digital download via Bandcamp. 
The album opens with five songs from Joey’s Danny & His Fantasy including “Mantra” which features a funky bass line and an energetic 80’s-informed rhythm along with a quick, rap-like vocal cadence.  “Love Knows Your Name” is highlighted by a shuffling beat, driving bass and glimmering synths.  Standout track, “Soul Crossing” is a holdover from the Healing Power days with a mystical atmosphere of haunting synths, soulful vocals and a bouncy beat that recalls Swedish synth-poppers, Niki & The Dove.  Next, the dynamic “All My Love” opens as soaring synth-pop but closes out with handclaps, acoustic guitars and Joey’s trademark falsetto in a nod to 70’s power-pop.  With its sly, Prince-like funk, standout track "Morning Light" may be the sexiest song about abstinence ever written and closes out Danny’s side with on a high note.
The thumping beat and chiming guitars of “Ingénue” opens Christian’s side which also focuses on a synth-heavy dance-pop sound.  Joey appears on “I Been Waitin” with its stair-stepping synths and skittering beat, as the two trade vocals on the standout track.  “Heartbreak On The Streets Of The City” is filled with layers of strange synths, a stuttering rhythm and paranoia-stricken chanted vocals.  “Face This” is a little more straight-forward with a propulsive beat and cascading psych-pop melodies.  The album closes out with the off-kilter ballad “I Know Who You Are” with its ethereal vocals and big piano chords.
The Danny & His Fantasy + Christian Gough split album is also available on an extremely limited run of hand-dubbed and packaged cassette tapes.

Friday, March 07, 2014

Free Friday: Moonlit Sailor – “We Come From Exploding Stars”

Moonlit Sailor recently released their stunning fourth album, We Come From Exploding Stars via Deep Elm Records.  The Swedish post-rock quartet combine Modest Mouse-like indie rock and the cinematic grandeur of Sigur Ros’s brand of post-rock with soaring pop-leaning melodies for their most imaginative and evocative album yet.    
The dynamic standout track, “Skydiver” teeters between a propulsive marching band rhythm with sliding guitar melodies and broad-stroking chords that give the feeling of free-falling and support the song’s title.  Another standout track “Dollar Underwater” is highlighted by a cyclical, rumbling drum pattern and lush layers of shimmering guitars that recall former label mates, The Appleseed Cast.     
In celebration of their 19th year of existence, Deep Elm Records is offering up nearly all of their 200 releases – Moonlit Sailor and Appleseed Cast albums included - as a name-your-price download.     

Download We Come From Exploding Stars here:

Stream “Skydiver” here:

For more info: www.deepelm.com and https://www.facebook.com/moonlitsailor

Thursday, March 06, 2014

VIDEO: Josh Berwanger – “Baby Loses Her Mind”

Josh Berwanger (formerly of The Anniversary) recently released his excellent solo album, Strange Stains, via Good Land Records which showcased his brand of melodic folk and classic rock-inspired indie rock. 
Berwanger and his band are set to tour leading up to and following SXSW and has just released the new self-made video for the power-pop standout track, “Baby Loses Her Mind” in which he cut out images of some of his favorite 80’s hair metal bands like Twisted Sister, Poison, Bulletboys, and Skid Row from his old Metal Edge and Hit Parader magazines and added the song’s lyrics in conversation bubbles for a humorous and clever tribute.     

Watch “Baby Loses Her Mind” here:

For tour dates and more info: http://goodlandrecords.com/ and http://berwangermusic.com/

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

3 Songs: On Repeat

Ume – “Black Stone” (Produced by Adam Kasper (QOTSA, Foo Fighters) and led by the monumental guitar riffs of guitarist/vocalist Lauren Larson, the Texas power-trio create a swirling storm of hazy shoegaze, heavy grunge, classic rock and pop on Monuments - their sophomore album and label debut for Dangerbird Records - for the year’s first undeniable rock triumph.)     http://monuments.umemusic.com/

 Wake Owl – “Letters” (Wake Owl is the moniker of singer-songwriter Colyn Cameron who issued an excellent EP of understated acoustic-based folk last year but with the assistance of producer/multi-instrumentalist Richard Swift (The Shins, Foxygen) he has crafted a full-bodied new sound that incorporates elements of 60’s soul and pop and reverb-rich atmospherics on his debut album, The Private World of Paradise, out now on Vagrant.) http://wakeowl.com/

Kimono Kult – “Todo Menos El Dolor” (The super-eclectic and experimental new project led by Nicole Turley of Swahili Blonde along with the ever-prolific Omar Rodriguez-Lopez (Mars Volta) and Terri Gender Bender released their debut EP Hiding In The Light this week via Neurotic Yell Records.  The danceable yet skittering electro beats, psychedelic synths and layers of haunting vocals and strings of the opening track here, acts as the perfect introduction to their mysterious world which also features the services of Laena Geronimo, Dante White and former Chili Pepper, John Frusciante.) http://www.neuroticyellrecords.com/artists/kimono-kult/  
Stream: http://soundcloud.com/noisyghostpr/kimono-kult-todo-menos-el

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

CONTEST: Comeback Kid – “Die Knowing” - Win a Comeback Kid crewneck sweatshirt from Victory Records!

Don’t call it a comeback…Canadian hardcore heavyweights Comeback Kid return this week with the release of Die Knowing, their long-awaited fourth album via Victory Records.  Filled with the same relentless rhythms, shout along choruses and beefy breakdowns you have come to expect, they put a melodic spin on the old school hardcore style once again for their strongest and heaviest album yet.      
The title track, “Die Knowing” opens the album with a slow-building chug that bursts through with throat-shredding vocals and a chant-along chorus and then launches into the pummeling, “Lower The Line”.  Standout single, “Wasted Arrows” spits fury with a boot-stomping beat and back-breaking breakdown as the heaviest song on the album.  Another standout, “Should No Better” adds hints of Every Time I Die’s brand of southern rock-inspired metalcore to the mix.  Going full circle, original vocalist, Scott Wade returns to guest on the standout track, “Full Swing” and Poli Correia guests on the anthemic sing-along, “Losing Sleep”.  The twelve-track album closes out with the soaring, melodic yet metallic “Sink In”.       

In conjunction with Comeback Kid and Victory Records, Atlas And The Anchor is proud to offer a Comeback Kid crewneck sweatshirt to 3 lucky winners!
Just send an email with your favorite Comeback Kid song and your shirt size to: atlasandtheanchor@hotmail.com   
Winners will be chosen at random in a drawing held Monday, March 10.    

Stream “Wasted Arrows” here:

For more info: www.comeback-kid.com and www.victoryrecords.com

Friday, February 28, 2014

Free Friday: Smug Brothers – “On The Way To The Punchline”

Hot on the heels of the excellent Strictly Triggers EP – just released in January - Smug Brothers, the Dayton indie rock band led by Kyle Melton and featuring Brian Baker and Don Thrasher (Guided By Voices, Swearing At Motorists) returned this week with the release of their new album, On The Way To The Punchline.  Available as a name-your-price download via the Gas Daddy Go Records Bandcamp page, it is also available on limited edition cassette, making it the band’s first physical release in their decade-long existence.  The self-produced and recorded album was mixed and mastered with the appropriate amount of polish and grit by Darryl Robbins (Guided By Voices, Motel Beds).            
“Guest Not A Passenger” opens the album with a propulsive rhythm and winding guitars before standout single, “It Was Hard To Be A Team Last Night” offers up a chugging slice of British Invasion-inspired power-pop for a nice one-two punch.  As a change of pace, “Over And Outside” offers up some pretty acoustic guitars and close knit vocal harmonies.  The super-catchy Guided By Voices-like “A Thing For English” quickly follows with guitars both jangly and twisty for another standout moment.  Opening with haunting guitar ambience, “St. Paul At The Helm Of Wyoming” slowly builds into a noise-addled take on 90’s slacker rock with tumbling drums and frenetic guitar riffs.  Another standout on the twelve-track album is the single, “Quick To Illustrate January” with its infectiously bouncy rhythm and memorable GBV-loving melodies.    
With their stellar new album, On The Way To The Punchline, Dayton’s Smug Brothers prove once again that they belong in the Gem City’s hallowed halls of lo-fi indie rock.                

Download On The Way To The Punchline here:

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Hotelier – “Home, Like NoPlace Is There”

The Hotelier (formerly known as The Hotel Year) released their sophomore album, Home Like No Place Is There this week via Tiny Engines.  Led by vocalist Christian Holden along with drummer Sam Frederick and guitarists Cody Millet, Scott Ayotte, and Chris Hoffman, the Worchester, MA based band’s smart brand of punk rock blends anthemic pop-punk with earnest indie rock and aching emo for a dynamic sound that is modern yet nostalgic and both fragile and explosive.         
The aptly-titled “An Introduction To The Album” opens the album with an understated arrangement of vocals and ambient guitars that slowly builds into a cathartic release for the perfect introduction.  The standout first single “The Scope Of All Of This Rebuilding” follows with a forceful rhythm, angular guitars and shouty vocal melodies.  Other standouts on the nine-song album include “Your Deep Rest” which features a bouncy rhythm and bright melodies that contrasts with the achingly powerful and personal lyrics and “Life In Drag” which explodes with bombastic throat-shredding hardcore aggression that is tempered with cascading guitar melodies and a fist-in-the-air shout-along chorus.      
Once again, Tiny Engines Records proves to have their finger on the pulse of the punk scene with, Home, Like NoPlace Is There, the excellent new album from The Hotelier that should end up on many year-end lists this year including mine!