It’s a never-ending battle. Seriously, they keep coming and I keep struggling to keep up. Once again, we find ourselves here with a bunch of upcoming bands and records that I get sent and stumble upon on my own, and since I can’t bring myself to keep up with a respectable “work schedule”, here we are. A mish-mash of names and what are going to have to pass for reviews/spotlights. I’ve found this round to be both really difficult, as well as really interesting. Difficult because I just happen to not really be in the mood to listen to music a lot (though I am writing a shit-bunch about it), but also interesting because this is probably the widest spectrum of acts I’ve ever focused on.
So here we go.
Title Tracks are a new band on Dischord Records. THE Dischord. Yeah, the one that Ian McKaye started. They’re really poppy and indie rock-sounding, sort of reminding me of a more “countrified” Tigers Jaw or an upbeat-sounding Paper Moons. It’s surprisingly catchy and energetic and a little bit hip-sounding, but still…ugh, I hate saying this about music, “mature”. Definitely not what I was expecting to be honest from this Spider/Michael Cotterman from Kid Dynamite/The Loved Ones is in this band, as is John Davis from Q And Not U. They have a demo out now and self-titled 7-inch out as well. I wanna like this more, but it’s not that bad and definitely rings in my head as one of those bands that just needs repeat listenings to truly appreciate. I’m just really iffy about shit. Whatever.
Detournement is like the next “punk rock supergroup”, except it’s all dudes from old East Coast bands so no one’s gonna care compared, which sucks. Nate Gluck from Ensign/The Fire Still Burns and Scott Goley from Lifetime are in this band. It’s just straight-up melodic punk rock and it’s pretty good stuff, I can definitely see myself listening to this band a lot. They’re nothing groundbreaking but that’s not necessarily a must for bands, because sometimes you need something comforting and familiar to listen to. I dig it, it’s a nice mix of that whole late Bouncing Souls and Lifetime sound, and I’m curious to see what they have coming up in the future. I think Chunksaah is putting out a 7-inch by them soon, don’t know for sure. I’m totally not up on what labels are doing that much these days, but yeah, definitely check them out.
I keep getting emails about this band called War Tapes, which you have to admit is a pretty sweet name. They’re…not bad, a definitely “big” sound with lots of ambient potential. A pop-rock band at heart, they’re definitely trying to create that sort of atmospheric sound, something that honestly is a little hit or miss with me because it’s a fine line keeping you away from “totally overblown”. It’s OK, the singer totally sounds like someone I’ve heard on the radio or on TV or somewhere where popular bands end up, but it’s not bad. A little bit generic-sounding and not my cup of tea, but hey, at least they know how to play, which means more these days than you’d think.
Will at Sound As Language highlighted this band a bit ways back. Rapid Cities are good. Like, really good. A total old-fashioned emotional and ambient post-hardcore blast that definitel reminds of of my all-time fucking favorite era of music, the 80’s in Washington DC. Just borderline yelling and screaming and crying as a rapid melody is beating against the back of your eyes and inside your ears, it’s really good. I can’t say much else, except that you should listen to the song “In My Mind” off of Machine Saints, and tell me it doesn’t remind you of that good old-fashioned earnestness about emo that drew you to it and kept you into music after hardcore started to suck.
Band Of Skulls, from the UK, are another cool-sounding band that people keep emailing me about, so I decided to throw an ear that way. It’s evil-sounding rock ‘n roll, definitely drawing from a “classic” background that I appreciate more and more the older and more bitter I get. It’s not bad, they’re a lot better than some of this shit out these days that claims to pull-slash-steal from the same pool of influences of old-fashioned blues-based rock with occasionally dancy beats to keep you from thinking this is a total “throwback” type band. It’s not my favorite thing in the world but whatever, I can definitely appreciate it. If you’re British, keep an eye on them. And if you aren’t, well, I can’t really help you in that aspect.
So there we go. And before you know it, the backlog will be full again and I’ll be back, dumping a semi-organized mess on you, pleasant and shallow reader. Hopefully, as before and as now, you’ll tolerate it in between spouts of organized record reviews, semi-coherant rants about comic books, the state of independent journalism and punk bands from the 1990’s.