Wednesday, April 30, 2014

3 Songs: On Repeat

Survival Knife - “Fell Runner”  (New band from Justin Trosper and Brandt Sandeno of post-rock pioneers Unwound released their debut album, Loose Power this week via Glacial Pace Recordings.  This time around, they create an angular yet muscular and pop-leaning sound that blends hard-charging classic rock riffage with the punk and hardcore spirit you would expect for something both new and nostalgic all at once.)  

Chad VanGaalen – “Monster” (Out this week on Sub Pop, Shrink Dust, is Chad’s fifth full-length solo album and his first produced in a commercial studio it is also a cosmic country album that is just as warped as his famous artwork.  The psychedelic single here, plays out like a desert-hot fever dream with strummy acoustic guitars, a loping rhythm and vivid, paranoia-stricken lyrics.)   

The Luxembourg Signal – “Distant Drive” (The exciting new project from members of Aberdeen, Fonda and Trembling Blue Stars, released their debut 7” single via Shelflife Records last week.  The A-side is upbeat dream-pop laced with skyward synths, a propulsive rhythm of jangly guitars and pounding drums and swaying female vocal melodies.  "Wishing Pool", the B-side is a Broiler Room session demo with hints of surf rock.  Elements of their prior bands run parallel with more modern flourishes for a new sound with tons of promise.)

Friday, April 25, 2014

Free Friday: Habits – “Desert Daze Remixtape”

L.A. based synth-pop producer Habits (Dustin Krapes) will be performing at the Desert Daze Festival this weekend at the Sunset Ranch Oasis in Mecca, CA alongside headliners The Raveonettes, Liars, and Unknown Mortal Orchestra.  In celebration, he has released the Desert Daze Remixtape via his Soundcloud page on which he puts his own glitchy synth-driven spin on tracks from five of his fellow Desert Daze performers such as Deap Valley, Fever The Ghost, Liphemra, Froth and Corners.  The standout tracks include the funky and danceable beat added to Fever The Ghost’s “Source” and the stuttering electronics of “Woman Of Intention” by female garage rock duo, Deap Valley. 

Stream/download the Desert Daze Remixtape here:   

Additionally, Habits released his latest synth and sample-based album; Unselves In Arrival via Austin cassette label Fleeting Youth Records earlier this year.  The excellent album - available digitally and on cassette - perfectly showcases his post-punk and psych-pop influenced brand of electro-rock. 
Stream/purchase Unselves In Arrival here:    

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: and

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.)

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.)

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.)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Record Store Day – Saturday, April 19, 2014

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 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:
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, 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: and
If you are in Cincinnati, check out Shake It Records here:   

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: and

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.)   

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.)

 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.)   

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:
For more info:

(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:  
Order the physical product here:

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.)      

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.)   

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.)   

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: