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!
And though we can’t possibly cover all the music that is released each week (we wish!), we do get to as many songs as we can. 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 for more:
Big Laugh– Shadow Figure. Hardcore that rips and rages, with plenty of BIG riffs, dirty bass lines and drum fills, this one from the Milwaukee based band ticks a lot of heavy boxes for me. I’m more than a little bummed their soon to commence tour with Gel won’t be hitting NYC, but hopefully they’ll make it out this way sometime in 2023. From the upcoming album, Consume Me, due out 2/10 via Revelation. [KH]
Cat Clyde– I Feel It. The Canadian indie folk singer has a new album, Down Rounder, due out 2/17 and has just released the second single, a beautiful piano led contemplation with string accents which she says is about her experiences—both positive and negative—with being an empath. [KH]
Death Valley Girls– Sunday. “I need a sign” shit, me too. “I just want to lay down and never get up again” also, me too! The always effervescent LA garage punks have released the second single from their upcoming record, Islands in the Sky (2/24/23 Suicide Squeeze), and it’s a bit laid back, a soulful plaintive meandering til around the last minute when they amp up the tempo and hope springs eternal once more. The song is REALLY relatable for any of us who have existed at any point lumbering through the last few years and lead singer Bonnie Bloomgarden says “Over the past few years I learned you have to feel and move through your feelings or they get stuck, and then you become a vessel or container for all the feelings you are trying to avoid! If you acknowledge, feel, and process them, you get to release and move them out of you! This song is to honor that process! Feel your feelings, be so sad you wanna cry forever, and then move on, you gotta keep moving!” [KH]
El Ten Eleven– Not Even Almost. The instrumental post rock duo only seems to get more prolific with time—in the last three years they have released a triple album,Tautology (2020) and its follow up, New Year’s Eve, which came out last year. They are heading into 2023 full steam ahead with yet another new album, Valley of Fire, due out 2/10 via Joyful Noise. The thing I have always loved about instrumental music is that you can certainly take the intentions of the creators to heart while listening to it, but you can also find your own meaning in it much more so than music with lyrics. I have been a fan of El Ten Eleven for a very long time now and the things I have always found and loved in their music is the undercurrent of hope and a sense of calm that always seems to find me in the moments I need it most.
Bassist/composer Kristian Dunn explains that the album was inspired by “visiting Valley Of Fire State Park in Nevada,” “Overwhelmed by the beauty and surreal nature of the place, I found myself in the rare state of actually living in the moment and feeling awash in true tranquility. There was a sense of not getting close to something transcendent but actually experiencing it, thus the title. It wasn’t almost transcendent, it WAS.” About this song specifically he shares “If you listen closely, you’ll notice the melody repeating but the bass parts changing underneath. It’s a very Bach-inspired idea, but fits the metaphor perfectly (the anchor of your identity shifting under a truly moving circumstance).” The group hit NYC twice in 2022, once for their own headline show and again opening for Peter Hook and the Light (both phenomenal shows for the record), so here’s hoping 2023 sees them grace the Big Apple once more. [KH]
Fucked Up– I Think I Might Be Weird. The long running Canadian legends are due to release their latest album, One Day, so named because it was recorded in the span of 24 hours by each member (read more on that here) and have shared the third single from it this week. This one sees them step back from the edge of frenetic hardcore a bit, blending elements of classic rock and dance punk in with their signature sound and Damian Abraham’s ever satisfying screams along with the trill of some sweet violin accents. They have also announced tour dates in Canada, the UK and the US in support of the album which will hit Brooklyn on 4/28 at Brooklyn Made. [KH]
Linens– Forest Fire/Grunge. This double single actually came out in December 2022, but just dropped on Spotify last week and came to my attention at that point so here it is! The band says on their Bandcamp that “this is a two-song introduction” and I for one am ready to hear more from this Toronto post hardcore quartet. If you dig anything at all that came out on Dischord in the late 80s into the 90s, chances are you’ll dig this too. [KH]
Negative Blast– Trauma Bond. Sometimes all you need to clear the cobwebs of life is some ragey hardcore. Negative Blast has you covered with the first single from their upcoming debut album, Echo Planet (2/10 Quiet Panic), which the band says “is a pulverizing punk ripper about the human machine that trades life for profit through control, trauma and warfare. The words explore what fuels the parasitic nature that compels those to hold power and subjugate others into a life of violence and suffering.” [KH]
Quasi- Nowheresville. You know what? I freaking love Quasi, there’s just no two ways about it. I also love bike riding, street wandering, band practice invading gorillas/Sasquatch like creatures (I mean, who doesn’t?) and they deliver on that in the cheeky music video too. All that being said, you can imagine that I’m pretty damn excited for the new album, Breaking The Balls of History, due out 2/10 via Sub Pop which is also their first in almost 10 years. Indeed, I am and I’m also very much looking forward to getting to hear these songs played live when they head out on tour, making a stop at TV Eye on 3/16 (with the equally as awesome Bat Fangs) which will mark my first time seeing the band in almost 20 years. Perhaps before then, I’ll dig up my circa 2004 35mm negatives from the old Knitting Factory while I anxiously await the show. [KH]
shame– Six-Pack. Have wah, will travel! On their latest single, the second from the upcoming album, Food for Worms (2/24 Dead Oceans), the UK post punkers lean heavily on the wah pedal to accent the angular guitar along with some pretty frenzied drumming. In his review of their previous single, “Fingers of Steel,” Mike said “It’s obvious shame makes music for them, and everyone else just happens to be on board.” I’m inclined to agree AND be fully on board. [KH]
We Are Scientists– Settled Accounts. On their 8th album, Lobes (1/20 Masterswan), the long running NYC indie greats are leaning hard into a dancy disco funk feeling and I’m here for it. This pairs perfectly with the disco romp of previous single, “Less Than You,” both with straight out of the 70s nightclub bass lines, and both more than delivering the grooves. A perfect showcase of what this band has always been great at—big emotions and deep grooves all wrapped into one. They will play a release show at Brooklyn Made on 1/20. [KH]
WifeKnife– Dead Ringer/Blackout. Birthed directly from everything good and unholy from deep within the bowels of cherished Brooklyn mainstay, Our Wicked Lady, Wife Knife rose onto the scene last year and just dropped a double single to ring in the new year. Though the quintet is OWL DNA thru and thru, their unique brand of Sabbath meets Fugazi riffage on “Dead Ringer” belongs front and center on the Saint Vitus stage. While the dynamic “Blackout” carries with it the soul of Stevie Nicks and Ann Wilson on the back of a dark unicorn to the ends of the flaming sea swallowed up by The Nothing. It slays. It melts your face. [MB]
Zulu- Where I’m From. This is the second single from the forthcoming debut full length, A New Tomorrow (3/3 Flatspot) by the epic LA based powerviolence band and like the previous song, it will shake your skull and rattle you all the way down your spine. This one features guest vocal spots from Pierce Jordan (Soul Glo) and Obioma Ugonna (Playytime) over top of heavy riffage and rock solid drums. They will head out on tour in support of the record with Show Me The Body, the tour hits Brooklyn Steel on 3/24. [KH]