Each week a ton of new music comes out, and between our weekly singles column that gets posted every Friday, and the full album reviews throughout the week, plus live show reviews and news announcements, we get to a lot! Here’s a quick fire list of even more great albums and EPs that came out this week(ish) that we dug and think you should get on your radar too.
Bard’s Flying Vessel– Nightfall Generator. The latest from the Brooklyn based group and like their eponymous 2021 debut, the music on this new album finds this five-piece band throwing various styles into the mix and producing a sound that’s all their own. Equal parts psych rock, lo-fi fuzzy garage rock, surf rock, 60’s folk vibes yet at times heavy as hell. “Scheming” is a big stand out for me and other highlights include “Barrows,” “Fortune Wheel,” and the title track. If I had a car I’d wanna blast this as I drive, windows down. Check out our recent coverage of their release show. [KM]
Ben Kweller– Sha Sha Deluxe. To celebrate its 20th anniversary (or 23rd or 21st depending on which version we’re talking about), Ben Kweller has released a deluxe edition of his debut album, Sha Sha. The album has been remastered and includes all of the original tracks you know and love plus an additional 22 demos, live cuts, B-sides and other rarities including the lo-fi “I Have the Power,” which was released as an early single. (As a fellow 1981 baby and nerd, I see and love the 80s reference in this title.) The album is available now on the standard formats—triple LP, triple CD and DSPs—plus, for those of us who like to combine our dental hygiene with our indie rock, a USB toothbrush you can scrub your plaque away with and then plug into your computer. Pretty convenient if you ask me! Here’s hoping the 1997 album, Restraining Bolt, by Kweller’s earlier band, Radish, gets the re-issue treatment sometime soon too. [KH]
Frankie Rose– Love As Projection. After four years Frankie Rose is back, and continuing to explore synthpop and new wave as she did on 2017’s Cage Tropical and 2019’s Cure cover project, Seventeen Seconds. It’s a big departure from her days in fuzzy guitar bands (as the leader of Frankie Rose and The Outs and as a member of Dum Dum Girls, Vivian Girls and others) but she’s hardly the first Slumberland artist to make the jump into more Tears For Fears-inspired territory. Rose has always been good at writing a hook, and delivering them through electronic means rather than a fuzz pedal allows the intricacies of her song writing to stand out. The album starts out very catchy with “Sixteen Ways” and “Anything.” Yet much of the record sees Rose taking a more subdued approach, slowing down the beat and moving the mood from dance party to nighttime neon drive. Love As Projection is out on Slumberland Records today, and she will be performing a release show the next night at Union Pool. [CW]
Glitter Wizard– Kiss The Boot. Do you like the Seventies? I sure fucking do, and thank god Glitter Wizard does as well. This glam tinged EP features more licks than you can shake a stick at, and a David Bowie cover to top it all off. There’s glitter here to be sure, but also swagger. Glitter Wizard are obviously inspired by the bluesy psychy rock of the past, but they hit all the good notes while avoiding being too derivative. Highlights on this EP are “Sequins and Leather” and “Sugar Beat,”’ while the video for “She’s a Star” sends it all up with leather and big hair. Kiss The Boot is out right now via Kitten Robot Records. [CW]
The Grasping Straws– Patterns. The latest from the BK indie art rockers have a brand new album out this week. Read our thoughts here. [MB]
H. Hawkline– Milk For Flowers. The project of Welsh song writer Huw Evans (and frequent Aldous Harding/Cate LeBon collaborator) has just released a new album, Milk For Flowers via Heavenly. The bouncy title track kicks off the album, piano driven indie pop finery, and the next song, “Plastic Man,” continues in this vein before the third, fourth and fifth tracks bring it down a bit. “Athens At Night” is a low-key synth pop jam and one of my favorites, anchoring the middle of the album well, before it slips down into the more gentle “Like You Do,” and the album concludes with a few more somber tunes. The pacing of the album feels very intentional and I enjoyed this about it too, you can tell a lot of thought went into this as a body of work and it is not just “some songs thrown together as a collection.”
I admittedly was not familiar with his work at all before I met him at Webster Hall when I worked Aldous Harding‘s show there last year (he is a member of her backing band and also opened the show), so this is the first time I’ve sat down with his music more in depth. I should definitely remedy that as he has four more solo albums and numerous collaborations to dig into. I was surprised none of the songs here were sung in Welsh (as he told me that is actually his native tongue and he didn’t learn to speak English until he was primary school aged) but perhaps there may be more in his back catalog I’m not yet aware of; I look forward to taking some time to do that. He is also a graphic designer and gifted me a beautiful hand printed linocut at that show and you can see more of his visual art on his website and albums. [KH]
Jeerleader– I’m Fine Until I’m Not. A brand new four song EP from Brooklyn’s own dream pop quartet, Jeerleader. This follows up 2020’s But It’s Fine and I think maybe they’re trying to tell us something…everything is not fine…but I also think we all already knew that. This is a fun one and shows off the groups pop sensibilities nicely. “Keanu Reeves Saves The Planet” is a particular stand out with really cool bass and lead guitar work and “Ghost World” is a bouncy jam that will stick in your head like glue. [KH]
Meet Me @ The Altar– Past // Present // Future. I famously am not much of a fan of pop punk or emo, but there are, as they say, exceptions to every rule. Meet Me @ The Altar definitely thawed a bit of my long standing iciness towards these genres ever since I saw some early videos of them (though I can still take a hard pass on just about 99.5% of the rest of those genres as a whole) and I have always been impressed with their exceptional musicianship and the prowess they bring to their songs, even when they were starting out as teens. And never mind the fact of how absolutely refreshing it is to see a band making pop punk without yet another boring white man or his “feelings” in sight.
They have released a series of singles and EPs over the years and this week hit the world with their full length debut, Past // Present // Future, now mature masters of their craft. The production here is huge, more pop than punk really, but their strong chops as musicians is still very much the glue that holds this band together, big budget recording or not. Songs like “Try,” “Same Language,” and “It’s Over For Me” are super fun that will keep you bouncing while “King of Everything” is a relatable anthem I really dug, with lyrics about just wanting to catch a damn break for once—been there, felt that. While I’m not likely to be found at Emo Nite or a pop punk show any time soon, this is a fun one that definitely had lots to sink my teeth into. [KH]
Snayx– Weaponized Youth: Part 1. This band has been one of my biggest surprises of 2023. I saw their name on a flyer for UK snark punk band Panic Shack‘s recent tour and decided to look them up. (Truth be told, I find lots of great bands this way, just looking at show flyers for bands I already like and doing a little digging.) Their song “Work” was my first intro and I was immediately hooked on the snotty ode to fucking off and telling your boss to shove it. I love bass and drums rock bands and I love fast paced irreverent songs, so I really took a shine to that one. “Deranged” is in a similar spirit of being wild and out of control, and that was most of what I knew of this band before the full EP came out. (Other than “Buck” which felt like a little bit of a departure for them and I said as much in my review here.)
But all, as it turns out, is not as it seems and this band has a lot of nuance beyond the brashness presented in the two songs I initially got to know them through. On the full EP, we get to see their depth with the soulful and political “Weaponized,” which also showcases the full range of their musicianship beyond just the driving romps that initially drew me to this band (though there is certainly nothing wrong with plenty of those types of songs either, I bloody love them). As I said, “Buck” is a bit more on the subdued side, and “Body Language (She Could Read My)” splits the difference and also features some super cool, slick bass work.
Every song on this five song debut is a winner and it’s been a while since I’ve heard an EP that nails it all the way through with nothing that can be called “filler” in the bunch. l also really love the cover art here, courtesy of artist Georgie Ramsay, it pairs very nicely with the title of the EP and I just love collages in general. This is a band I definitely have very high up on my list to see live and really hope they either get over to the States soon, or my next trip to the UK will coincide with one of their shows. Even better, I hope both happen! [KH]
Tired Radio– Lousy, thanks. The melodic mid-tempo hard rock band made up of “1 big guy, 1 small guy and 2 medium guys,” have just released their latest EP, Lousy, thanks, which is the follow up to their 2020 album, Patterns. The EP builds off the strength of lead single “Old Keys,” which has been making the rounds following a European tour last year where they opened for The Get Up Kids in Germany. For fans of band like The Menzingers, Hot Water Music, and Jawbreaker (alternatively Sharkswimmer or Heavy Lag for local Brooklyn comparison). Other highlights are “Down In Flames” and the title track. These are six catchy songs you’re going to want in your ears as the winter thaw beings to set in. [MB]
Check out these other recent reviews for even more new music:
Black Belt Eagle Scout- The Land, The Water, The Sky
Death Valley Girls- Islands In The Sky
Gina Birch- I Play My Bass Loud
Lily Mao & the Resonaters- Human Being Animal
Screaming Females- Desire Pathway
Quasi- Breaking The Balls of History
Yo La Tengo- This Stupid World