As is SPB tradition, we've gotten together to compile a list of the albums our staff are enjoying most so far this year. Here are ... read more
Vile Creature may have only been around for six years, but in that time the Canadian duo has achieved things that some bands can only ... read more
Finding new music to explore has become many people's escape since the world of 2020 changed for the worse. In times of struggle music has ... read more
In 2019, Scottish musician Billy Liar released Some Legacyon Red Scare Industries. While the new label brought his music to a wider audience, Liar has ... read more
Given its name, I suppose it’s not particularly surprising that Some Days are Darker produces music on the more gloomy side. In the hands of Phoenix-based, Detroit-raised musician Lear Mason, however, many of the smoky and bluesy songs found on the project’s debut album, Love+Truth, have a catchiness and pop sort of appeal, even on a track like “Take Me Anywhere,” which find Mason seeming to channel his inner Michael Gira on secondary vocal lines. Frankly, I was pretty impressed with the excellent selection of tracks on this EP. The songs are gripping and nicely fleshed out, making the record seem to be something more than the usual singer/songwriter album.
Perhaps as good an introduction to the band as any is Mason’s moody take on the late Bill Withers’ classic tune “Ain’t No Sunshine,” the video for which is premiering below. About the track, Mason says: “"For me, covering a Bill Withers song is somewhat of a contradiction; soul meets the soulless, but in that dappled place between the darkness and the light is where I like to explore. Those uncertain areas. There's no mistaking the certainty of the song—its power and simplicity. Bringing it into the Some Days Are Darker anthology creates somewhat of a rift, like something you might find on the cutting room floor of some forgotten David Lynch film."
Take the trip with the video below and look for Love+Truth, out now on digital platforms via the Inferno Choir label.
We’re doing something a little different this month with our featured stream. Raging Nathans, from Dayton, OH, just released their third full-length Oppositional Defiance on July 24. While that record is already available, SPB has the exclusive on its companion piece, Live From Wonkfest. The band is including a free 7” with all vinyl orders. The 7” contains material from their 2019 set at Wonkfest at The Dome (London, UK).
The recording was mixed by Simon Short (Lyoness, Wonk Unit) and features six songs that total just under 10 minutes, for a taste of the band’s live prowess and personality. With a “bootleg-style” design, it serves both to showcase The Raging Nathans’ live feel (in a year, so far, without live music) and to give fans something a little more special to pair with the new LP.
Or, as Josh Goldman (guitar/vocals) puts it:
We thought it would be punk as fuck to give away a free 7” with every order of our new LP.
Get a first listen here:
Baltimore by way of Atlanta four-piece Powerwasher is gearing up for the release of their debut album, The Power of Positive Washing, coming out August 14 digitally as well as on cassette. Together since 2019, the band makes a brand of noisy rock music that for me kind of sounds a bit like a more raw and mathy Parquet Courts. Despite the gnarly sonic elements though, the band’s tunes are unconventionally catchy, a fact that quickly becomes evident on “You Were Just Here,” premiering below.
Posted Aug. 4, 2020, 8:15 p.m.
On Sept. 4, 2020, Shout! Factory will release a live set from The B-52s at the US Festival in 1982. The release is available for preorder now and will be out on DVD and digital platforms.
Featuring all five founding band members, it is dedicated to Ricky Wilson, who passed away 5 years after the US Festival performance.
Overall the DVD contains an hour-long set with 13 songs, plus interviews with the band -- including discussions of Wilson's contributions.
Posted Aug. 2, 2020, 11:08 a.m.
Established in 1999 and the home of many limited edition vinyl releases in the garage/punk scene, Italy's Goodbye Boozy Records has announced that it is uploaded its catalog of Bandcamp -- partially in response to how COVID has impacted the music scene in 2020.
The label's many notable releases include, BBQ (Mark Sultan), Night Terrors, King Khan & His Lonesome Guitar, The Cheating Hearts, Red Mass, Useless Eaters, Ty Segall and Mikal Cronin, and more.
Posted Aug. 2, 2020, 10:40 a.m.
Angel Olsen has a new record coming out on August 28 (Jagjaguwar). Titled Whole New Mess, the record is 100% solo and is described as a "super intimate and vulnerable emotional portrait." The record was recorded in on guitar and microphone in a century-old church the Pacific Northwest.
Fans can check out a video for the title track now.
In addition, Olsen recently appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and she will also be performing on her livestream series Cosmic Stream 3, including a stream from the Hazel Robinson Amphitheater in Asheville, NC on the album's release date, Aug. 28.
Olsen released All Mirrors last year.
Posted Aug. 2, 2020, 10:09 a.m.
Mike Huguenor (Hard Girls/Shinobu) has announced a new pop album made entirely on guitar. The record is titled X'ed and releases Sept. 4 on Lauren Records.
X'ed is inspired by Huguenor's home city of San Jose, CA, watching as local artists get priced out of the city. The lead single, "Evening Light Through A Window," is out now on streaming platforms.
“One of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen is evening light in early spring. It is somehow both soft & sharp, cool & warm. Through a window, it appears to the observer like a reminder of life’s continued existence. This song is an ode to that beautiful sight,” he says, via press release.
In addition to Hard Girls and Shinobu, Huguenor also has played with Jeff Rosenstock, Mike Park, Daniel Andriano, and more.
Posted Aug. 1, 2020, 3:11 p.m.
On August 14 at 7pm EST, HeadCount and Fort William Artist Management will host an online concert called VOTE READY, A Concert for Voter Registration. Much as the name suggests, the motivation of the event is to inspire voter registration in the USA. The concert itself will be a livestream event featuring self-recorded performances by The War On Drugs, Robin Pecknold, Daniel Rossen (of Grizzly Bear), Christopher Bear (of Grizzly Bear/Fools), Kyp Malone (of TV On The Radio), Jaleel Bunton (of TV On The Radio), Kevin Morby, Waxahatchee, Tarriona Tank Ball, Hand Habits, Ciggy, Kam Franklin (of The Suffers), The Building and Allison Russell & Leyla McCalla (of Our Native Daughters).
As the press release explains:
Leading up to the event, fans who check their voter registration status via HeadCount.org/VoteReady will receive a free eTicket to the stream. Anyone not currently registered will then easily be able to register to vote through an online form. International and underage viewers will be able to receive the same access by pledging to vote in the next election in which they are eligible.
Posted Aug. 1, 2020, 2:12 p.m.
San Francisco's Grumpster, who released Underwhelmed in 2019, are back with a new 7" called Mindless. Much like the full-length last year, the new EP is on Asian Man Records.
A lead single, "Teeth," is out now (and shared after the bump).
“I wrote “Teeth” about being used,” said Falyn Walsh, vocalist/bassist. “It's about one-sided relationships where the other person only keeps you around to use you to their advantage, and the way it makes you feel once you realize that their intentions were only for personal gain, and that they never truly cared for you.”
Posted Aug. 1, 2020, 1:19 p.m.
Olympia, WA's Wolves in the Throne Room have joined forces with Relapse Records for their next full-length, which the label anticipates will be ready in 2021.
In a statement, the band says:
We are proud to announce our collaboration with Relapse Records. As fans of the label since the early days, we are excited to be working with such capable folks. We are currently crafting our forthcoming record which will be released in North America by Relapse in alliance with Century Media who will be handling the rest of the world. More news to be announced very soon.
The band most recently released Thrice Woven in 2017. Their forthcoming record will be the group's seventh full-length.
Simon and Garfunkel.Seals and Crofts.Hall and Oates.Captain and Tennille.Some artists just go together. Sure, they might make music on their own. But once they find their “other”, their “person” - you never want to hear them with anyone else.Such is the case the case with Buzz Osbourne and Trevor Dunn. So long Melvins and Fantômas. So long Mr. Bungle and Trio-Convulsant. You were the rebounds. The time killers. The distractions leading up to this one, perfect relationship.Seeing each other across ...
This is the kind of hardcore that makes my throat hurt just listening. It’s also the kind of hardcore where I can’t sit still while listening, even when tethered to ...
These last few weeks I've started to notice that the creases in my forehead are deepening. It's a subtle change to my face, but it's progressively becoming more noticeable. My ...
Inject the Light is a time capsule, a one-person project from Chris Mason that’s about living in the moment of the COVID-19 lockdowns. Mason, who has also plays with Low Culture and Macho ...
Boy do The Raging Nathans know how to start a record on a down note. The band plays melodic DIY pop-punk that’s of the verse-chorus-verse variety with driving rhythm to ...
Two years ago I reviewed Local Warming, the debut EP by Sun-0-Bathers. Two years have passed, but not much has changed for Sun-0-Bathers. I am not going to blame them for ...
Most death metal bands exhibit a morbid quality to their sound but few would be believed if they said that their music was actually recorded in a catacomb. However, if ...
It’s a fairly long story as to the exact circumstance, but a couple of years ago on a rainy winter day in Tasmania I found myself as the only passenger ...
There are a lot of skeletons out there. Stuffed in closets. Hanging on metal hooks in medical school classrooms. There is a skeleton in me writing this. And there is ...
Anytime it’s just one person on the stage, the music being created is going to be intimate and personal. Sometimes it’s so personal that it doesn’t bridge the gap from ...
Jeremy Kirwan-Ward: You Can See It From Here Fremantle Press One of the qualities of art is to offer to grind a new lens and the opportunity to transform ... read more
July: Hype Stickers Boy, I'm getting these things up later and later. Thanks for checking out what I listened to for this installment of Search/Play/Repeat. A lot of 2020 releases ... read more
The Formative Years – ACME 7” In 1993, I received a demo tape “Menschenmaschine” by a band from the Northern regions of Germany that had just changed its name ... read more
Thus Let Us Drink Beer – The Southern Highlands Brewing Co Formed a decade ago, it is a shame that I became only very recently aware of the existence ... read more
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