Wednesday, May 30, 2012

3 Songs: On Repeat

1.  King Tuff - "Keep On Movin'" (The strummy power-pop filled single with a sunny sing-along chorus taken from his self-titled sophomore album released today on Sub Pop.  His scrappy brand of lo-fi glammy guitar-driven rock hearkens back to the days of T.Rex but with a modern touch.  This is "put the top down and cruise around in your Camaro" music perfect for Summer!)

2.  Broken Water - "Underground" (The experimental Olympia, WA trio create a blend of noisy, shoegaze guitars and psych-rock undertones with an understated pop sense to go along with their strange folk tendencies on Tempest, their new album and debut for Hardly Art.)


3.  The Dig - "I Already Forgot Everything You Said" (Hypnotic and atmospheric new single with soaring harmonies and ambient synths and guitars taken from the Bryce Goggin (Pavement, Swans)-produced Midnight Flowers, the band's second album , out now on Buffalo Jump Records which showcases their more experimental side.)


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

For Today - "Immortal"

Christian metalcore heavy weights For Today are set to release their new album Immortal, their fourth overall and first for their new label Razor & Tie today.  Unrelenting and unashamed, their super-heavy yet melodic music matches the undeniable passion and intensity of vocalist Mattie Montgomery who preaches the Gospel of Jesus Christ in his music and his life (you should check out his Facebook page).  And nowhere is this more evident than on the standout first single and opening track, "Fearless", where he screams on the sing-along chorus, "We will not be afraid" and "So let the devil come/We are fearless!" as an anthem to stand up for what you believe in. The 11 track album also features guest vocals from Jake Luhrs of August Burns Red on "Set Apart", Sonny Sandoval of label mates P.O.D. on the anthemic "The Only Name" as well as former label mate Tommy Green from Sleeping Giant on the thunderous album closer "Under God".  Another standout, the title track, "Immortal" is powerful in both it's honest message and it high energy music.  Also featured on the album is the short, string-laden instrumental and spoken word passage "The Call", that features among others, a snippet of a meaningful sermon from preacher and author John Piper.

With their excellent new album Immortal, For Today once again prove that they are at the top of their game and the top of the Christian metal food chain.  Catch them in your town this summer on the Warped Tour.

Check out the video for "Fearless" here:

For more info: 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

3 Songs: On Repeat

1.  Dope Body - "Lazy Slave" (The Baltimore-based 4-piece create a spastic and sludgy brand of post-punk that incorporates noisy guitar outbursts, crazed vocals and off-kilter groove-orientated rhythms for a unique sound like Henry Rollins fronting the Melvins on their sophomore album Natural History out now on Drag City.)


2.  JBM - "Winter Ghosts" (Brooklyn singer-songwriter Jesse Marchant possesses a haunting and engaging voice not unlike Bon Iver and the wind-whipped, desolate sonics of his sophomore album Stray Ashes, out now on Western Vinyl, make for an album meant for headphones and introspection.) 


3. Airiel - "Flashlight Tag" (The lush and gauzy layers of guitars on the dream-pop band's excellent new 4-song EP Kid Games, out now on Shelflife Records, are met with danceable beats, soaring synths and nostalgia-laced lyrics.)


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Great Commission - "Firework" EP

The California based Christian metalcore six-piece The Great Commission surprised their fans this week with the release of a new digital EP titled, Firework, out today on Ain't No Grave Records.  It features acoustic re-recordings of 4 tracks from their excellent album Heavy Worship released last year plus an acoustic cover of "Came To My Rescue (Be Lifted High)" by Hilsong United.  Also included is the title track, a cover of Katy Perry's hit song "Firework" done in the band's crushingly heavy metalcore style with a thunderous breakdown that would rattle the braces right out of Katy's (character in the video) mouth!

Angela, who plays guitar and screams on Heavy Worship, takes the spotlight on the Firework EP with her pretty clean vocals put on record for the first time, while Justin peppers in some well placed screams on the tracks for good measure.  The bottom line is when you remove the distorted guitars, most of the screaming and the pummelling drums, what remains are well written glory-giving worship songs that reveal the band's true heart and I think these songs will be covered at almost every youth camp this summer!  

1.  "When It Rains It Pours" (Acoustic)
2.  "Draw The Line" (Acoustic)
3.  "Weight Of The World" (Acoustic)
4.  "Road To Damascus" (Acoustic)
5.  "Came To My Rescue (Be Lifted High)" (Acoustic)
6.  "Firework" (Katy Perry Cover)

Listen to their cover of "Firework" here:

For more info click here: and

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

3 Songs: On Repeat

1.  Birthmark - "Stuck" (Antibodies, out this week on Polyvinyl is the third album under the Birthmark moniker for Nate Kinsella of Joan Of Arc.  The pulsing first single, with its beautifully lush arrangement features vibraphone, strings and clarinet that contrasts with Nate's self-deprecating lyrics.  Also, another song on the inventive and organic album features a backwards string section that was actually played that way by the quartet.) 


2.  Tu Fawning - "Anchor" (The experimental band led by smoky-voiced singer-songwriter Corrina Repp and Joe Haege of 31Knots create a hypnotic and haunting blend of dusky R&B and World Music rhythms, among other styles, on their sophomore album A Monument, out now on City Slang.)  


3.  Giraffage feat. XXYYXX - "Even Though (Teen Daze Remix)" (Giraffage is San Fran-based sound-sculptor Charlie Yin who released both an EP and an album of his lo-fi glitchy electro dream-pop last year.  His new EP, Even Though out now on Kitsune is a collaboration with rising 16-year old producer XXYYXX.  The EP also features fresh remixes of the track by Slow Magic, Reid, The One AM Radio and Teen Daze.)


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Beach House - "Bloom"

Baltimore-based duo Beach House return with the Sub Pop release of Bloom their fourth album and follow up to their excellent 2010 album Teen Dream.  Without drastically changing their atmospheric synth-driven sound, Alex and Victoria have created another near perfect album of hazy, layered dream-pop that tugs at your emotions and feeling of nostalgia to great effect.  Victoria's shape-shifting voice is an instrument itself; at once light, breathy and haunting, then deeper and fuller, perfectly aligning with Alex's textured soundscapes note for note.  And together they better capture the nuanced vintage glow that Lana Del Rey tried to create on her debut.

The album (as it was intended to be listened to as) opens with "Myth" and its trance-inducing cyclical melodies.  The moody, nostalgia-laced "Wild" features a gloriously cheesy Casio keyboard drum beat and soaring guitars.  The 80's-indebted first single "Lazuli" follows with an infectious ascending keyboard melody and gorgeous, lilting vocals.  Another standout track, the midtempo "Other People" features shimmering guitars and sounds like Mazzy Star if only they were a surf rock band.  "The Hours" is built on layers of thick organ and a clicking beat with Victoria's vocals floating above the haze.  "Troublemaker" is both ethereal with haunted house organ and sunny with a poppy chorus.  The hypnotic guitars and wall of synths of "New Year" make for the album's most dense and lushly arranged moment.  The ten track album closes with "Irene", where Victoria sings, "It's a strange paradise" and that pretty much sums it up...Bloom is a beautiful album that you won't mind getting lost in.

For more info: and

Friday, May 11, 2012

Free Friday: Royal Teeth - "Act Naturally" EP

Recently signed to Dangerbird Records (Silversun Pickups, Minus The Bear), the New Orleans-based six-piece Royal Teeth are offering up their debut EP Act Naturally as a free download on their Bandcamp page.  The contrasting male/female vocals of Gary Larsen and Nora Patterson blend well with their infectious and colorful brand of synth-laden dance-pop. 

The super-poppy 5-song EP contains four original tracks including the jubilent and shimmering standout opener, "Wild" as well as their stunning 80's-inspired cover of The Knife's cold-wave smash "Heartbeats".  Also the iTunes exclusive download contains a bonus remix of "Wild" by in demand Swedish electro duo The Sound Of Arrows.  

Download the Act Naturally EP here:

For more info: and

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Show Alert: Old Monk at Omega Music in Dayton on Friday May 11th!

Brooklyn garage-pop band trio Old Monk are currently on tour and are making a special stop here in Dayton for an instore performance tomorrow night, Friday May 11th, at Omega Music during the downtown Urban Nights celebration. 

They create an energetic and anthemic slice of garage-punk with knotty guitar noodling, cagey and frenetic drumming and a slick nostalgia-laced pop sense that harkens back to the guitar-led indie rock of the 90's on their infectious debut album Birds Of Belize out now on Eenie Meenie Records.

So come out to Omega Music, check out your new favorite band Old Monk, buy a record or two and then head uptown for the festivities!    

Stream 2 songs here:

Download "Warm Moustache" here:

For more info: and and

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

3 Songs: On Repeat

1.  Daniel Martin Moore & Joan Shelley - "Would You Tell Me Your Dreams" (Farthest Field out now on Moore's own Ol Kentuck Recordings, is the new project from the two Kentucky-based singer-songwriters.  Inspired by nature and poetry, their acoustic-based folk music is gentle, dream-like and contemplative, combing the best elements of each artist for a beautiful modern album that could pass as a set of old standards.)


2.  Royal Headache - "Girls" (The Sydney-based band's slick pop sense with hints of soul and surf rock shines through the noisy garage-punk calamity on the first single from their promising self-titled debut out now on What's Your Rupture?.)


3.  Here We Go Magic - "Make Up Your Mind" (You must be doing something right when legendary producer Nigel Godrich (Radiohead, Beck) personally asks to produce your album.  And the Luke Temple-led band's new album A Different Ship, out now on Secretly Canadian, is on a different level; less dense yet still swirling with rhythms and their unique brand of gazy, psych-pop.  Listen to the excellent first single below.)  


Tuesday, May 08, 2012

The Royalty - "Lovers"

The Royalty, a female-fronted five-piece garage-pop band from El Paso, TX are set to release Lovers, their sophomore album and Victory Records debut today.  The band's retro-loving sound blends 50's-style rock and roll, 60's doo-wop and the soul of the 70's with modern indie rock that will appeal to fans of everyone from Vampire Weekend to Adele.  While the band's sound is a stark departure from the label known for much heavier music, the band's DIY approach and singer Nicole Boudreau's strong, soulful yet playful voice is the perfect vehicle to usher in a new direction for the label.

The first single, "Bartender" opens with a crashing introduction to the reverb-rich and Spector-indebted album production as well as some rafters-rattling vintage organ and a hip-shaking rhythm.  The upbeat "How I Like 'Em" follows with a powerful, smokey vocal performance and ringing, sock-hop guitar tones.  The propulsive single, "I Want You" features guitars both sparkling and distorted with an infectious sing-along chorus.  The bouncy "Bottle Breaker" features Nicole's playful side with a cooing vocal and a super-catchy chorus that exudes a nostalgic 90's vibe.   "Mr. Hyde" stands out with its frantic surf rock energy and sun-soaked melodies.  Another standout, "Every Little Bit" features soaring "whoa, oh oh's" sung by the guys in the band for a nice contrast along with twisty guitars.  Later, the subdued and sultry "Witchcraft" will put you under a spell.  And the 12-track album closes with the slow-waltzing, heart-aching ballad "Won't Be Long" and it won't be long before you are ready to play this album again. 

Go ahead and crown them because with the right break, The Royalty could be the next big indie rock obsession, their excellent new album Lovers hits all the right notes!     

For more info: and

Friday, May 04, 2012

Free Friday: TV Girl - "The Wild, The Innocent, The TV Shuffle" Mixtape

San Diego-based indie-pop duo TV Girl return with their new nostalgia-laced mixtape The Wild, The Innocent, The TV Shuffle, released today as a free download from Greedhead Music, the label run by Himanshu Suri of Das Racist.  The 15-track mixtape even comes with a sarcastically humorous activity book .pdf with puzzles, coloring pages, games and recipes for you to enjoy while you listen to the mixtape. 

The unsigned band is planning to make a break from their norm with this last, long love letter to their sample-loving ways.  But their debut album/mixtape and follow-up to their excellent Benny And The Jetts EP (released last August), features their sample-heavy sound that blends drum breaks and doo-wop and synths both sparkling and hazy with 60's psychedelia into a retro-fitted modern mix that is infectiously catchy and dancable.  This is summer music all the way!     

Download the mixtape here:

For more info:  

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

3 Songs: On Repeat

1.  Father John Misty - "Nancy From Now On" (After splitting from Fleet Foxes as their drummer, singer-songwriter J. Tillman has released Fear Fun, his latest solo project, which is his first under the Father John Misty moniker and first for Sub Pop Records.  Full of witty storytelling as colorful as the album cover and classic country-leaning folk rock, the album shows his great talent as a frontman.)


2.  Reptar - "Orifice Origami" (Super-infectious and danceable 80's-inspired second single from, Body Faucet, the indie-pop band's excellent debut album out now on Vagrant Records.  If you don't instantly love this song and album, there is something seriously wrong with you!) 


Stream Body Faucet:

3. Ramona Falls - "Spore" (Brent Knopf, the former member of art-pop band Menomena has released Prophet, his second album for his side-project-turned-main-band this week on Barsuk Records.  His off-kilter 80's-leaning pop sense and experimental drive are intact but with even brighter, more confident melodies and arrangements along with more personal lyrical themes for a stunning sophomore release.)


Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Jack White - "Blunderbuss"

Jack White released his highly-anticipated first solo album, Blunderbuss last week on his own Third Man Records imprint in conjunction with Columbia Records.  Lyrically, it is his most viscerally personal album yet which was almost expected as it comes shortly after the disbandment of the Whites Stripes and his recent divorce.  Musically though, the 13-song album still features his distinct brand of bluesy garage rock and his signature squalling guitar solos but also delves into soulful country and folk.  Jack is backed up by two separate all-male and all-female backing bands and the upbeat music is not affected by the darker, more honest lyrics.

A Fender Rhodes piano and acoustic guitar opens the album on the southern soul dust-up, "Missing Pieces".  But if you are looking for the track that most resembles the White Stripes, look no further than the rocking second single, "16 Saltines", with its crunchy duelling vintage organ and guitars, stomping beat and infectious chorus.  The biting lyrics of "Freedom At 21" are boosted by a shuffling beat and a standout scorching guitar solo.  The first single released, "Love Interruption" is an upbeat country and western duet with Nashville singer-songwriter Ruby Amanfu, who holds her own with a Dolly Parton-like vocal inflection.  The title track, "Blunderbuss" stands out with more country music instrumentation and expert pedal steel by legendary Nashville multi-instrumentalist Fats Kaplin.  "Hypocritical Kiss" is led by a rollicking piano lick and backed up by insistent acoustic guitar and Jack's distinct vocal phrasing.  Another standout track, "Weep Themselves To Sleep" is another arena-sized piano-led anthem.  "I'm Shakin'" lives up to it's title with a hip-shakin' blues boogie and female doo-wop background vocals.  "Trash Tongue Talker" is a bold acoustic blues shuffle with some razor-sharp lyrics.  Another standout is the jaunty and old-timey saloon-tune "I Guess I Should Go To Sleep".  And the album closes out with the chugging county/rock revival "Take Me With You When You Go" which features rafters-reaching group vocals from Ruby Amanfu, Laura Matula and his ex-wife Karen Elson. 
Stepping out on his own, while revealing a little more of the myth that is "Jack White" on his first album released under his own name can be deemed a success because Blunderbuss should be at the top of every critic and fan's album of the year lists this year. 

For more info: and