Friday, November 30, 2012

Free Friday: Low - "Plays Nice Places" Live EP

The indie rock icons Low just recently announced that they will release their 10th album, The Invisible Way via Sub Pop Records on March 13th.  The new album was produced by Jeff Tweedy in Wilco’s recording studio The Loft, in Chicago.   
The band is also celebrating its 20th anniversary together and is giving away a live six-song digital EP titled, Plays Nice Places, as a free download to all of their fans.  The EP features live versions of some of their best songs, recorded during their 2012 spring tour with Death Cab For Cutie, including, “Sunflowers” and “Witches” along with a new track, “Waiting” and a new version of “Words” that features Ben Gibbard singing and playing bass. 
Download the Plays Nice Places EP here:
For more info: and

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

3 Songs: On Repeat

The Garlands – “Open Arms” (The female-fronted Sweden based indie pop band just released their stunning self-titled debut album this week on Shelflife Records.  The short bursts of bouncing rhythms and sparkling jangly guitars along with their super-catchy 80’s-inspired melodies make for quite a promising debut.)   

Don Caballero – “Fire Back About Your New Baby’s Sex” (Recorded in one night back in 2003 in Chicago, the instrumental math-rock band led by the crazed rhythms of drummer Damon Che has just released their first live album, Gang Banged With A Headache, And Live this week on Joyful Noise Recordings.  The recordings are gritty and lo-fi yet remains true to the band’s punk ethos and are a testament to their energetic and inspired live shows with all of your favorite tracks included on the tracklist.)

A Lion Named Roar – “This Won’t Last For Long” (This Louisville-based band is set to explode with their debut EP Foreign Land, out now.  Their super-catchy and highly-melodic sound is anthemic and driving like Anberlin but with the introspective lyrics and careful arrangements that are reminiscent of The National.  It is pure pop perfection!)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Horace Pinker - "Local State Inertia"

90’s pop-punk veterans Horace Pinker return this week with the highly-anticipated vinyl release of their standout 2011 album, Local State Inertia, via Jump Start Records (Broadcaster, Astpai).  The new album is their first since 2005 and features their heavy yet melodic and catchy brand of punk rock that they have always been known for.  Over the years the Chicago based band has played alongside such likeminded peers as Jawbreaker, Bad Religion and Green Day and have appeared on numerous punk compilations.
The opening title track sets the tone with a surging, bouncing rhythm and vocalist/guitarist Scott Eastman’s coarse vocals along with some catchy harmonies.     Standout track, “Less Of You” features chugging guitars and an elastic bass line with a soaring anthemic chorus built for a sing-along.  The dueling guitars and vocals of “Catch Twenty-Two” provide another standout moment on the 10-track album. 
The vinyl pressing of Local State Inertia is limited to 500 copies with 250 pressed on randomly mixed color and 250 on shiny black!

Stream and order Local State Inertia here:

Friday, November 23, 2012


The experimental Austin based duo Major Major Major combine noisy art-rock with highly-melodic doo wop-inspired garage pop on their excellent self-titled debut EP that was released earlier this year as a free download on their Bandcamp page and is also available on a shiny slab of 12” vinyl for the super-cheap price of $5!  The 5 song debut was recorded with Barrett Walton, who has also worked with Woven Bones and Yellow Fever, to name a few. 
“We All Come From You” with its ambient washes of distortion and choir-like psych-pop vocal harmonies that reach for the rafters, opens the EP on the right foot.  “Peace Love Darkness” stands out with a rollicking drumbeat and an exuberant sing-along chorus and the tropical rhythm, fuzzed out guitars and unhinged solo of the aptly-titled "In The Carribean" stands out as well.  

Download the Major Major Major EP here: 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

3 Songs: On Repeat

Gospel Claws – “Hambone” (The Tempe, AZ based indie rock band led by Joel Marquand formerly of Dear And The Headlights released their highly-anticipated sophomore album, Put Your Sunshine Away this week on Common Wall Media.  Produced by Bob Hoag and recorded live to 2” analog tape, the new album captures the band’s live energy, where dusty folk meets punk-inspired indie rock with sing-along vintage melodies that harken back to 60’s pop and 50’s doo wop.)

Jowls – “Cursed Ruins” (The noisy Grand Rapids, MI based hardcore band incorporates crazed screaming, aggressive blasts of dissonant guitar and violent rhythms that evoke 90’s legends Deadguy and Unwound on their visceral new EP Cursed, out now on Tiny Engines.)

Run , Forever – “Basement” (Mixing gritty punk with rootsy rock and elements of pop, the Pittsburgh trio have captured yet another set of dynamic and inspired anthems on their new album Settling, released this week on Tiny Engines.  For fans of The Menzingers and The Thermals.)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Free Friday: King Elk - "Making Buildings Out Of Everything"

Dayton indie rock band King Elk released their excellent debut album Making Buildings Out Of Everything on cassette and digital download this past July via Dayton indie imprint Gas Daddy Go Records (Smug Brothers, Me & Mountains).  It's the new project from Andy Smith formerly of Andrew & The Pretty Punchers and Kyle Melton of Smug Brothers along with guitarist Tyler Bellingar.  They have recently recruited drummer Leo DeLuca of Southeast Engine (Misra Records) to provide the backbone to their stunning, highly melodic psych-pop which incorporates a little of everything from surf rock to doo-wop.     

Standout tracks on the 12 song album are "Lights" with its spooky slide guitar melody and indelible ear-worming chorus and "Ghost" which is one of my favorite songs of the year, with its stop/start rhythm, syrupy psychedelic guitar lines and soaring vocal melodies.

The band is now offering up the album as a pay-what-you-want download on their Bandcamp page.  So, it’s free but it is definitely worth your money!

Stream and Download Making Buildings Out Of Everything here:

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

3 Songs: On Repeat

Marine Electric – “Murder Mile” (Brooklyn-based band released their highly-anticipated debut album, Restrained Joy this week through Insrgnt/Unbuckled.  The emotionally-strained dueling vocals that are reminiscent of Hot Water Music combined with an energetic blend of nostalgia-laced emo punk and melodic and anthemic indie rock is sure to incite unrestrained joy in their listeners.)        

Bear Colony – “Flask Retort” (The Arkansas-based music collective led by Vince Griffin released their more ambitious and sophisticated sophomore album, Soft Eyes, this week via Esperanza Plantation.  The effortless blend of organic and electronic instrumentation along with Griffin’s melodic voice makes for some glowingly cinematic, headphones-worthy soundscapes that are immersive and infectious.)  

Harriet – “No Way Out” (Led by former Dawes keyboardist Alex Casnoff, the band creates an experimental blend of electronic-tinged Americana on their passionate and soaring new single out now and hot on the heels of their promising debut EP Tell The Right Story released earlier this year.  Catch the band on tour now with A.C. Newman.)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


JAN is the recording moniker for the new solo project of Kim Talon formerly of art-rock duo Talon & Eagle.  Her self-titled debut album was released today on Enclave Music and the nostalgia-laced guitar-led sound produced by John Goodmanson (Sleater-Kinney, The Gossip) is built upon a foundation of 90’s indie guitar rock and riot grrl punk with a skewed yet highly melodic pop sense and Kim’s versatile voice.  The live band is rounded out by Chloe Saavedra of Smoosh and Melinda Parks (Har Mar Superstar).
The album opens with the stunning first single, “Work ForThe City” and its instantly catchy melodies and grunge-y guitar riffs.  “Some Bite/Some Bitten” follows with a crunchy guitar riff and a choppy rhythm along with some anthemic vocals.  “No Kind” effortlessly blends jangly 90’s college radio rock with a punk edge.  “Praline” opens with an alarming high-pitched guitar line and proceeds with a dual guitar attack as Kim’s lilting vocals float above the din.  Standout track “Act Like A Pantry” features a rumbling bass line and a simple yet effective ascending melody on the chorus and it ends with a dissonant recorder solo session.  “Cousins” trades in the soft/loud dynamic and ends with a caterwauling coda that leads into the mellower “All Of These Igloos” and its beautiful vocal melody and plucking piano.  Kim creates a noisey commotion on the aptly-titled single, “How To Beast” with its raging guitars and howling vocals.  While, the stark beauty of “Winter’s Got My Coat” stands out with some frenetic and screeching violin playing, churning guitars and some bittersweet vocal melodies.  “Red Crust Ow” explodes with dueling guitars and playful vocals.  The twelve track album closes with the broken-down guitars and haunting, breathy vocals of the languid “Ailing Ale” and the quiet, propulsive beauty of “Knit Stems”.          
Kim Talon has established herself as a strong voice in the indie scene and has thrown her hat into the ring of female guitar goddesses with her excellent debut album JAN.      

Friday, November 09, 2012

Free Friday: Go Tell The Eskimo - "Smoke Signals" EP

The London-based electro-rock quartet Go Tell The Eskimo recently released Smoke Signals, their debut EP through Red Parade Music.  The promising EP was produced by John Roach (The Young Romas, Jesse Thomas) and features three radio-ready tracks that incorporate the danceable sophisticated synth-pop of Phoenix and the anthemic side of Arcade Fire along with insanely catchy sing-along melodies that are indebted to the 80's while still maintaining a modern edge.  Featured is the stylish first single, “When The Lights Go Out” with its surging guitar rhythm and soaring vocals.   

Download the Smoke Signals EP here:

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

3 Songs: On Repeat

Old Monk – “Attica” (To celebrate their recent CMJ showcase, the Brooklyn garage-pop trio has released an epic and anthemic new single that will be included on their upcoming album set to be released next year on eenie meenie.  The song with its frantic energy and howling vocals was produced and recorded by students at NYU for the CMJ Sessions at NYU.  Their excellent debut album, Birds Of Belize was released earlier this year.)   

Joshua James – “Queen Of The City” (The folk singer-songwriter released his third album, From The Top Of Willamette Mountain, this week on Intelligent Noise.  Organic and honest, the new album was produced by Richard Swift (The Mynabirds, Damien Jurado) and incorporates everything from swinging Soul to 60’s pop to showcase his unique singing voice and colorful storytelling.)    

Grape Soda – “Obvious Signs” (The Athens, GA based Lewis brothers; vocalist and keyboardist Mat and drummer Ryan have released their debut album Form A Sign this week on Kindercore.  They infuse their home recorded pop music with substance and emotion along with the spirit of D.C. area punk and hints of reggae and soul for an energetic and danceable good time.)   

Friday, November 02, 2012

Free Friday: Dolfish - "I'd Rather Disappear Than Stay The Same"

Dolfish is the recording moniker for the Cleveland-based indie folk singer-songwriter Max Sollisch.  His debut album, I'd Rather Disappear Than Stay The Same was released this week on vinyl through Afternoon Records (Pomegranates, Yellow Ostrich) and is also available as a pay-what-you-want digital download. 
His humorous yet heartfelt ruminations on life and love are bolstered by his distinct voice (that has traces of Daniel Johnston's) and the full band arrangements and production provided by label-mate Patrick Tape Fleming of The Poison Control Center. 
"Perspective Is A Funny Thing" stands out on the 12 track album with its bluesy old timey guitar riff, pounding drums and tongue-in-cheek lyrics.  Another standout is the opening track “Grown Ups” which features a twinkling, cyclical guitar riff and Max’s emotional yelping vocals.  The title track, “I’d Rather Disappear Than Stay The Same” adds a propulsive rhythm, vintage organ and electric guitar to his unique brand of folk to great effect.  On the other hand, two songs "Oil In This Heart" and a shorter version of "Proud Of You Joanna" from his debut EP, Your Love Is Bummin' Me Out make a reprise but with much sparser arrangements than before.