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: and

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.)    

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.)

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.)     

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: and

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:

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: and

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.)

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.)      

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.)  

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:
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.)   

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.)

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.)

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 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: and

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: and

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.)

 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.)

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.)  

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:   
Winners will be chosen at random in a drawing held Monday, March 10.    

Stream “Wasted Arrows” here:

For more info: and