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 Kate and Mike weighed in on some killer songs— give ’em a listen!
Chubby and the Gang– Violent Night/A Christmas Tale/Red Rag to a Bull. If you ask me, any time of year is the right time of year for some rock n fucking roll and why not especially so for the Christmas season? London based power pop punksters Chubby and the Gang have blessed us with just such a thing and released their take on the Holidays with “A Christmas Extravaganza,” a hard rocking, fast driving double single featuring one Christmas tune and one non holiday tune that still rips regardless. Listen to both songs below. [KH]
Guts Club– Change My Name. The heavy doom gaze/post metal trio have shared the third and final single from their upcoming album, CLIFFS/WALLS, and it builds upon the swirling barrage of feedback and doom of the first two singles, “The Gun Collector” and “CLIFFS/WALLS,” and even without having heard the final songs from the album, this trio of songs fully feels intentional and like the prelude to an entire album concept instead of just some songs thrown together on a release because they were written or recorded at the same time. This band does massive walls of noise so well and they also do emotion—LOTS OF EMOTION—perhaps even better with vocalist Lindsey Baker drilling deep into your soul with her screams of anguish surging in and out and in between the gales of feedback that form the vibrating heart of the song.
The band says via a press release that “‘Change My Name’ is a love song about “wading through a loved one’s profound grief. Grief takes on many forms and can alter the trajectory of one’s life and relationships. The song is a reflection on how obsessive love can manifest from intense grief.”
CLIFFS/WALLS releases in full 1/13/23. [KH]
Lily Mao & the Resonators– Tiger. Hot off the presses is the snarky new tune from Lily Mao & the Resonators and it gets right to the point. Following this Fall’s “Wolves,” Mao continues to lead the pack as one of Brooklyn’s most unique voices. The quiet confidence of lyrical metaphor goes head-to-head with with some rippin’ guitar, proving once again a tiger cannot change its stripes… nor would it want to. This was released in collaboration with A Diamond Heart Production. [MB]
Maraschino– Walking On Thin Ice (Yoko Ono cover). LA based electro pop artist Piper Durabo aka Maraschino is due to release her new album Hollywood Piano in March (read our thoughts on the single “Hi Desire”), and separate from that has just released a Bandcamp exclusive cover of Yoko Ono’s airy 1981 classic, “Walking On Thin Ice.” On why she wanted to cover the song, Maraschino says “‘Walking on Thin Ice’ is one of my favorites in Yoko’s catalog. It’s a timeless ripper, and the lyrics are amazing. The erratic nature of life and death, “throwing the dice in the air” and hoping for the best, and the conclusion that “when our hearts return to ashes, it’ll be just a story” kinda sums it all up, you know?”
Listen to both versions below. [KH]
Narrow Head– Gearhead. This band does the hazy grungegaze sound so well, I almost swear I’m back in the waning days of summer 1995 when I got my first taste of You’d Prefer An Astronaut. While this band does draw heavily on influences from the 90s and I hear a lot of Hum’s (and Deftones) influence in their sound, they are firmly of the now and stand shoulder to shoulder with the earlier pioneers of heavy shoegaze. This song is from their upcoming album Moments of Clarity (2/10/23 Run For Cover), and I’m very much looking forward to what the entire body of work has to offer. They’ll be touring in support of the album, but thus far only on the West Coast. Here’s hoping a return to NYC is in the works soon.
See our coverage from their most recent NYC show. [KH]
R. Ring– Def Sup. This is the second single from the upcoming album War Poems/We Rested, by the project which features Kelley Deal (The Breeders), Mike Montgomery (Ampline) and Laura King (Bat Fangs) and it’s a slinky groover, leaning heavily on a sexy bass line and sultry beat with pointed, acidic guitar lines adding tart accents throughout.
King shared about the song: “I had this beat in my head and I recorded it with Charles Chace (Speed Stick) at his Beep Wave Studio. We chopped it up a bit, then I recorded a bass track that seemed fitting. Charles added some angular guitar solos. I knew then that I had to take the tracks to Mike and Kelley to finish the song. They painted their magic on it and it really started to take shape and make sense. The words came from the excitement of a new relationship and promising self identity.”
War Poems/We Rested is due out via Don Giovanni on 1/27/23. [KH]
Ron Gallo– Yucca Valley Marshalls. Sometimes all we need is something that feels familiar, even if it’s the sharp fluorescent glow of a big box store off in the distance. On this latest track, we find the clever songwriter Gallo reflecting on a solo west coast trip where he found himself wandering around Los Angeles by himself, finding that it can be “the loneliest place on the planet if you are an outsider.” Elaborating further, he says “I took that feeling with me on a day trip to Joshua Tree and ended up stopping at the Marshalls in Yucca Valley. There’s something really sad and hilarious about seeing a glowing Marshalls sign in the middle of the desert but since chain stores are all the same inside I took it as an opportunity for some familiarity.
An astutely observational and masterfully sardonic lyricist, the new album promises to take us on a journey as Gallo “screams at the developers turning neighborhoods into unremarkable AirBnB advertisements, corporate overlords deciding how much music costs, and extremists hellbent on bringing forth an apocalypse of racial and civil destruction. It confronts the villains of our society and helps those crushed by them by finding a way to laugh at the absurdity of it all.
Skull Practitioners– Exit Wounds. The NYC post-punk-psych-garage-rock trio have just announced their debut full length, Negative Stars, and released the first single, “Exit Wounds.” With the guitar sound of Jason Victor leading the charge and backed by the rock solid rhythm section of Kenneth Levine on bass and Alex Baker on drums, this first taste of the album is full of busy sounds twisting and swirling around each other in a perfectly frantic romp, coming close to the edge of chaos but never full on colliding into disordered cacophony.
All three members of the band share vocal duties throughout their songs, trading off on lead; this one sees Victor front and center on vocals. The release comes with a trippy animated video which pairs perfectly with the song. Negative Stars arrives in full on 1/20/23 via In The Red. Read more about the band and their process for the album here. [KH]
Slift– Unseen. The French psych greats have released a double single as part of Sub Pop’s singles club. The songs were recorded during the Ummon sessions and serve as a continuation/companion piece to the album, with the band elaborating on Bandcamp: “We recorded ‘Unseen’ at the end of the UMMON sessions. We had time left and we had this track that was originally supposed to be on the record, but that we had put aside later. This song was recorded live in one shot, then we added the vocals later. At the end of the song, we started to play with the feedback of the room, and we let ourselves be carried away by this drone. On re-listening, we loved it and for us it was clear, this piece of meditative sound was ‘The Real Unseen.’”
Check out our recent coverage of Slift’s NYC debut. [KH]