Hi! Hello! Here we are with some bite sized goodies and a taste of a some new things that we dug that came out in the last week(ish), quick fire responses to some great new music we think you should check out. This week Chantal, Kate and Mike weighed in on some killer songs, so give em a listen!
We get to as many songs as we can each week (though can’t possibly cover all the music that is released) and as always, if you’re in a band or from a label, don’t hesitate to reach out and let us know about you! If we dig ya, you’ll get a nod in the column. Read on to find out what we dug the last week or so and check back every Friday to see more:
Bass Drum of Death– Find It. Garage rock aficionados BDOD have released the second single from their upcoming album Say I Won’t (1/27/23 via Fat Possum). On their website the band says of the new album “The music still rips, with blown-out guitars and drums that sound like bombs going off, and the melodies are catchier than ever, hollered in [John] Barrett’s trademark yelp. But the music hits differently now, more at peace with itself, propelled by a new swagger,” and I found that to be true of the lead single “Say Your Prayers” and definitely true here on this latest track. It’s hardly a bad thing though and it sees the band heading into newer refined territory with better production overall. See our coverage from their June 2022 show at Market Hotel. [KH]
Blink 182– EDGING. The classic lineup of the bratty pop punk trio is back together again, with original guitarist Tom DeLonge officially back in the fold, new music announced and a tour to support it coming. And if my social media feeds are any indication, lots of my friends of a certain age (and younger) are pretty damn excited about all of those things. As for this song, it hardly breaks new ground for the group but at this stage of the game, it really doesn’t need to. Their fans go to them for exactly this—upbeat, bright punk rock songs that tap into your feelings of disaffected youth (err middle aged-dom) and aren’t shy to be crude. This is not the most crude song they’ve ever done but there is a line about fucking in church so yeah, Blink is back for sure. [KH]
Dead Tooth– Sporty Boy. Once again, Dead Tooth drops a real racer in our laps, just in time to heat things up for the Fall. The post-wave art punk track released on Trash Casual, worms and swirls it’s high sonic tones in and out of thumping bass melodies, pushing the kick-snare-vocal attack that drive the song right to the brink of unraveling. With this single they’ve unleashed a tightly honed focused fury of sound that pummels your chest like a jackhammer on the loose. “Sporty Boy” simmers on the edge of boil teetering along that line for three minutes and change, killing the heat every time it’s about to lose total control.
Spin Magazine nods “The single’s quick internal rhymes pile on its assonance like the pig-on-sheep pyre displayed on the cover of Dead Tooth’s 2022 EP Pig Pile. What’s more, “Sporty Boy” plays out like the soundtrack to a nearly successful high-speed chase, made all the more real by its accompanying art – an old-school digital car-stereo display.” Catch them playing on 10/25 at Baby’s All Right with Native Sun and The Bobby Lees. [MB]
Grade 2– Brassic. Cockney rhyming slang for being “skint,” which for us Americans who don’t spend a lot of time in the UK, means being broke. And who can’t relate to that? I know I sure can. This song reminded me of punk rock meets Britpop in all the right ways and is a catchy slice from the Isle of Wight based band. [KH]
Green Day– You Irritate Me (demo). I’m a lifelong unabashed Green Day fan and I’ve enjoyed just about every era of the band, but by far my most favorite is the 90s trifecta of Dookie, Insomniac, and Nimrod released in 1994, 1995, and 1997 respectively. They were hugely influential albums to me when I was a teenager and I still regularly listen to them front to back today, well into my adulthood and my 40s. So you can certainly imagine I was more than thrilled with the recent announcement of a boxed set to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Nimrod (which true story, I hand wrote a review for in my very first zine) and the inclusion of the demo tracks for several of the songs on the album as well as songs that never got released. “You Irritate Me” is one of those songs.
On one hand, it’s hard to believe this sat in the vaults for more than 25 years, it is after-all that classic 90s era early Green Day sound that would have been right at home in those days. But on the other hand, compared with the strength of the songs that did make the album, this song is fun for sure but doesn’t hold a candle to the hit single “Hitchin’ A Ride” and certainly not the era defining “Good Riddance,” (which was actually written in 1990) or even the deeper cuts (and hardcore fan loved tracks) like “Haushinka” and “Prosthetic Head” (both favorite tracks of mine).
All that being said, I am glad to have it now and I am intrigued to hear what the rest of the demos sound like because I definitely consider Nimrod a transitional album. It held a lot of the early era hallmarks of what established Green Day as a band, but it also was the first album that showed they could be more and strongly hinted towards the more nuanced and flushed out entity they would become by time American Idiot rolled around seven years later. The boxed set, which features the album along with extras (the demos and a live album recorded in 1997), drops in full on 1/27/2023. Bonus- read my track by track breakdown of Dookie here. [KH]
Guided By Voices– Queen of Spaces. The fountain that provides inspiration to Robert Pollard will seemingly never stop flowing. A spare, ethereal song featuring a gorgeous string section, this is Pollard in ballad mode, and paired with the angular, rocking first single “Instinct Dwelling” from the upcoming La La Land, it bodes well for the album as a whole. GBV will be at Terminal 5 on December 3rd in support of Dinosaur Jr. [CW]
Gun– Evermore. This band is one of my favorite discoveries I made this year, having first seen them at a house show over the summer (see pics). They have a sound that can be hard to pin down and often changes from song to song, sometimes even within the same song as was the case with their last single “Mark of the Beast Mode” (read my thoughts) and can range from punk to grunge to nu metal and noise. This latest track sees them showing off their more sensitive emo side and while I prefer them at the noiser end of the spectrum, this song is a strong showing of their range. Their debut full length is in the works and should be released soon. [KH]
Hit Like A Girl– Dismay. In a drastic turn from their usual sound and certainly from their most recent release, the acoustic EP, Heart Breaker, HLAG—the recording project of NJ based musician Nicolle Maroulis— returns with a blistering and HEAVY hardcore track “Dismay,” which is the first track from their upcoming EP, Becoming. Maroulis’ vocals are brutal and the riffs are massively metallic, leading us in an intriguing new direction for the project. Time will tell if this is something they explore more on other releases or if they will go back to the emo/indie pop sound they are more known for. Either is an exciting prospect. Becoming releases in full on 11/18. [KH]
Ian McCuen– The Letter. Buffalo based singer songwriter Ian McCuen and self proclaimed “purveyor of sorrow” is back with the second single from their upcoming album, Westward, To Nowhere. McCuen certainly nails the sorrow aspect and really taps into an emotional vein here as they defly channel the spirit of Elliot Smith on this mostly quiet contemplation, detailing a strained familial relationship. Westward, To Nowhere releases in full on November 11th. [KH]
Pearla– The Place With No Weather. A bit less structured than the preceding single “About Hunger, About Love” (which we included here), this spacey song is both dreamy and aching. Intriguingly, it has both lead and final track energy to me, so I’m interested to see where it actually is placed on Oh Glistening Onion, The Nighttime Is Coming, which drops on February 10th. Pearla will be at Union Pool on October 21st. [CW]
Plasma Canvas– Blistered World. Plasma Canvas is now a four-piece, and their fuller sound is reflected in this rip-roaring slice of driving punk rock, which is also an anthem of trans defiance and joy. Their new album DUSK will be out on SideOneDummy in February, but for now you can catch their high-energy music video for the single below. [CW]
Slaughterhouse– Halloween. Some spooky self referential fun from the LA punk group, this one comes just in time for the biggest punk holiday of the year. I love the ending as most of the instruments and vocals fade out (but don’t completely disappear) and the guitar lead takes on a creepy horror movie quality with the vocals bouncing around and echoing in the ethereal distance. [KH]
Smut– Unbroken Thought. Coming at us with the third single from their upcoming album, How The Light Felt, Smut again hits us with plenty of emotions on this gossamer track about relationships. Singer Tay Roebuck elaborated in a press release: “This is a love song! It stretches from pre-relationship to mid-relationship and the sort of mystical destiny that can bring people together. The first verse is before our couple has met, where they don’t realize that they are wandering and lost. Not necessarily looking for each other but when they finally meet? They are done for. The second verse is about them finally feeling the missing pieces filled. They are doing mundane day-to-day life but new life is given to it just by holding hands and knowing they’ve found each other.”
I’ve loved having the album slowly revealed with each new track and am looking forward to hearing the entire collection upon its release on 11/11 via Bayonet Records; the band will play Brooklyn a day later at Alphaville. [KH]
Tenci- Sour Cherries. This innovative, slightly country-tinged tune features guitars and droning saxophone all woven together behind the compelling voice of singer Jess Shoman as they muse on the bittersweet nature of love. Find their new album A Swollen River, A Well Overflowing on November 4th, and check them out in person on November 12th at Baby’s All Right. [CW]
Tom Skinner– The Journey. Former Sons of Kemet/current The Smile drummer turned bandleader has released a second song from his upcoming debut solo album, Voices of Bishara. On this moody contemplation Skinner is joined by collaborators Tom Hebert (upright bass), Kareem Dayes (cello), Chelsea Carmichael (tenor sax), Robert Stillman (tenor sax) and Paul Came (samples) for an intriguing and mesmerizing song that indeed feels like a journey. Voices of Bishara will release on 11/4. [KH]
T.S. Tadin– Better Cry Yourself To Sleep. Another slice of well crafted singer songwriter styling meets lush indie pop, T.S. Tadin really nails you in the gut emotionally with this one. The second song from the upcoming album due out 11/18, we’re intrigued to hear more (see our thoughts on the lead single “It’s A Drag”). [KH]