Friday, September 30, 2016

3 Songs: On Repeat – Extended Edition

S U R V I V E – “A.H.B.” (With one half of the Austin-based band garnering huge praise this summer for their perfectly nostalgic score for the smash hit sci-fi/horror show Stranger Things on Netflix, the quartet is set to release their hotly-anticipated sophomore album, RR7349 today via Relapse Records.  They create a cosmic and hypnotically haunting atmosphere with warped synths for an inventive brand of instrumental post-rock that is evocative and cinematic; readymade for sci-fi and horror movie soundtracks and your upcoming Halloween party.)  

Justin Peter Kinkel-Schuster – “Laid Low” (JPKS of blues/folk duo Water Liars is releasing his debut solo album this week via Big Legal Mess/Fat Possum Records.  The stirring and organic new album, Constant Stranger was written and performed by JPKS himself and showcases his golden croon and descriptive folk narratives alongside blues-soaked and country-leaning folk-rock for an impressive and promising solo debut.)    

Brain Tentacles – “Kingda Ka” (Brain Tentacles is the new trio consisting of Bruce Lamont of Bloodiest and Yakuza, drummer Dave Witte of Publicist UK and Municipal Waste and Aaron Dallison of Keelhaul.  With a jazz and metal hybrid sound, their insane self-titled debut album - out today on Relapse Records - ditches guitars for skronking yet heavy saxophone riffs, strange synths and buzzing bass alongside staggering rhythms and complex grooves along with guest vocals from Oxbow’s Eugene Robinson and perfect production from Sanford Parker.)

Taking Back Sunday – “Tidal Wave” (As most bands of the era are reuniting and playing anniversary shows, the Long Island emo vets never really left and recently released the spirited new album, Tidal Wave, via Hopeless Records.  Their seventh album is led by the standout single and title track heard here which is a pumped up and extremely catchy old school punk rock anthem that’s more in line with the Rancid or the Replacements than the emo-punk of their past.  Elsewhere, the album dives into Americana-leaning folk-rock territory for something new and unexpected from the band.)   

Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam – “A 1000 Times” (The Walkmen frontman and Vampire Weekend instrumentalist team up for one of the best albums of the year with their eclectic yet cohesive collaborative debut, I Had A Dream That You Were Mine, out now on Glassnote Records.  The combination of Hamilton’s distinct, aching Dylan-esque howl and Rostam’s lived-in production - that includes syrupy strings, 80’s synths, doo-wop vocals and twinkling harpsichords - is the perfect match as they create an album that captures the glory and gloom of growing older, life and love.)

Friday, September 23, 2016

3 Songs: On Repeat

Flock Of Dimes – “Semaphone” (Flock Of Dimes is the new art-pop project from North Carolina-by-way-of-Baltimore based singer-songwriter Jenn Wasner also of Wye Oak and Dungeonesse.  Her long-awaited debut album, If You See Me, Say Yes, is out today on Partisan Records and though she is known for her impressive vocal range and guitar playing, this new project is more experimental with bright, lushly layered synth-pop melodies leading the way.  The album was written, performed, and produced by Wasner with help from frequent collaborators Mickey Freeland and Aaron Roche.)

LVL UP – “Spirit Was” (The New York based quartet released their third album and label debut for Sub Pop this week entitled, Return To Love.  Featuring sublimely catchy and blown-out fuzz-pop melodies alongside emotionally-charged abstract lyrical twists; the band wrestles with spirituality on their most fully formed and best album yet.  Fans of early Weezer, Built To Spill and Neutral Milk Hotel will find this album to be an instant classic!)       

Okkervil River – “Okkervil River R.I.P.” (Will Sheff approached – Away, out now via ATO Records - his latest and seemingly last album under the Okkervil River moniker as a solo album.  Leading up to the album many of the band members moved on and Sheff dealt with personal loss, so he shook things up and used jazz session players and created an organic album that leans more toward mellow folk and 70’s singer-songwriter with beautiful orchestral arrangements than the folk-leaning rock of previous albums.  The result is his deepest, most gorgeous album; a proper burial to the band name.)

Friday, September 16, 2016

3 Songs: On Repeat

Cheshires – “Love This Feelin” (Cheshires is the new project from former Remy Zero guitarist/songwriter, Shelby Tate along with original RZ drummer Louis Schefano and longtime collaborator Leslie Van Trease.  Together the trio creates a psychedelic swirl of fuzzy alt. rock guitars, propulsive rhythms and catchy, soaring melodies on their nostalgia-inducing eponymous debut album out today.)

Sumerlands – “The Guardian” (Featuring former Hour of 13/Atlantean Kodex vocalist Phil Swanson and renowned Power Trip and Inquisition producer Arthur Rizk; Sumerlands revel in and revive the glory of late 70’s rock and 80’s heavy metal with fist-pumping guitar pyrotechnics, searing leads and soaring vocals- all without a stitch of pastiche - on their stellar self-titled debut album out today via Relapse Records.  Fans of Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath and Judas Priest will be all over this thing like its 1984 all over again!)

Milemarker – “Conditional Love” (The late 90’s/early 2000’s synth-punks recently reunited and reissued their beloved album Frigid Forms Sell on vinyl for the first time and have followed that up with their first album in over a decade, Overseas, out now on Lovitt Records.  The new album finds the band in their element while adding new textures and updates to their experimental, synth-driven post-hardcore sound with krautrock rhythms and Kraftwerk-like vocals that will appeal to longtime fans as well as new converts.)

Monday, September 12, 2016

SHOW ALERT: The Anniversary to play Skully’s in Columbus 9/13

Late 90’s/early 2000’s indie rock favorites The Anniversary recently reunited after breaking up (way-too-soon) over 10-years ago and are currently on tour.  They will make a stop at Skully’s in Columbus on Tuesday, 9/13 along with Thin Lips and Laura Stevenson.   
The Anniversary was somewhat lazily lumped into the “emo” era alongside labelmates The Get Up Kids and Saves The Day, but they separated themselves from the pack with two different albums during their time together.  Their debut, Designing A Nervous Breakdown was synth-heavy and emotionally-charged while their sophomore album, Your Majesty was indebted to 60’s rock.  Both albums were released on Vagrant Records, are cult classics and long out of print but are being reissued by the label on vinyl to coincide with the reunion tour.
After the band split, vocalist/guitarist Josh Berwanger went on to form The Only Children and more recently has been touring and releasing music under his own name with his band, Berwanger.  Adrianne Verhoeven (now DeLanda) also went solo under the moniker Dri and formed the psychedelic reggae band Extra Classic.
With so much nostalgia in the air these days, The Anniversary’s reunion tour does not reek of “cash grab” because they split way before they should have and this is as much fun for the band as it is for the fans!
For more info: and

Friday, September 09, 2016

3 Songs: On Repeat

The Head And The Heart – “Colors” (The folk-pop favorites return with the release of their highly-anticipated third album titled, Signs Of Light, out now on their new label, Warner Bros. Records.  After the lengthy touring that accompanied their last album, the band took a breather then returned refreshed and the resulting album continues their brilliant streak with their trademark close-knit harmonies and heartfelt and uplifting lyrics intact along with even bigger and brighter festival-ready hooks for another great album.)      

Banks & Steelz – “Wild Season feat. Florence Welch” (Banks & Steelz is the new hip-hop duo featuring Paul Banks of Interpol and RZA from Wu-Tang Clan; their debut collaborative album, Anything But Words was recently released on Warner Bros. Records.  Both assert their distinct creative personalities, with RZA sounding as energetic as ever and Banks contributing his moody, atmospheric post-rock sound to the mix for one of the best and most refreshing rap releases of the year.  Guests include Kool Keith, Ghostface Killah, Method Man, Masta Killa and Florence Welch.)     

Wilco – “Someone To Lose” (After the surprise release of their ninth album, Star Wars last year, the band surprises yet again with another new album, Schmilco, out today via dBpm.  The new 12-song album continues where Star Wars left off but is looser with scruffy, mostly acoustic folk-rock and a lived-in vibe.  If they shook the “dad-rock” phase, then this might be Wilco at their most comfortable.  Call it “grandpa-rock” and love it just the same!)