FROM KIEV TO KANSAS CITY, 20-SOMETHINGS THE WORLD OVER TEND TO TRAFFIC IN THE SAME SORT OF DISTRACTIONS FROM MODERN LIFE: CLOTHES, SNEAKERS, CARS, LOVE. MASCOT, THE DEBUT LP FROM UKRANIAN GUITAR AND DRUM MACHINE NOISE MAKERS, BICHCRAFT, HOLDS THESE THINGS FOR WHAT THEY ARE: FLEETING DIVERSIONS FROM THE BLEAK REALITIES OF MODERN TIMES AND AN INCREASINGLY UNCERTAIN POLITICAL LANDSCAPE. THAT THE BAND COMPOSED, WROTE AND RECORDED MASCOT'S EIGHT SONGS IN ITS HOMETOWN OF KIEV ONLY ADDS TO THEIR AUTHORITY ON THE MATTER. AS DIMA NOVICHENKO SINGS IN THE ALBUM OPENER 'DIDN’T KNOW,' "THERE ARE ERASED NUMBERS ON YOUR ROADâ€¦ WE BETTER COVER OUR HEADS."
THIS IS HEAVY, PARANOID MUSIC IN THE SHAPE OF FRENETIC JAMS LIKE "A4," IN WHICH WAVES OF DUAL-GUITAR NOISE ACCOMPANY A DIGITIZED HOWL, CHANTING FROM DEEP INSIDE THE MIX. OFTEN, GUITAR INTERLUDES EMERGE QUICKLY AND TAKE A SONG IN A NEW DIRECTION AS THEY DO IN "MIGHT NIGHT DICKS." ON THIS TRACK NOVICHENKO AND BICHOWSKI DISPLAY AN EXTENSIVE POST-PUNK GUITAR VOCABULARY. THEY ARE AS FLUENT IN PSYCHOCANDY AS THEY ARE EARLY SY.
David Vassalotti is a founding member of 4AD recording artists Merchandise and first saw recognition in seminal Tampa hardcore punk legends Cult Ritual (Youth Brigade Records). Parallel to Merchandise's 4 LP run David has released 2 solo LPs; 2011's Book of Ghosts and 2016's Broken Rope as well as the False Xmas EP in 2011 under the moniker "()." David collaborated with Ben Greenberg (Uniform, The Men), ZZ Ramirez (The Ukiah Drag, Destruction Unit) and his partner in Merchandise, Carson Cox in the band Coca Leaf which released the Deep Marble Sunrise LP to critical acclaim in 2017. While Vassalotti is well known for his intense live performances and his expansive knowledge of the post-punk guitar canon, we see a new focus on songwriting and nuanced character study on his new record, Guitar Dream.
Beijing's Gong Gong Gong make driving, stripped-down transnational blues, tapping into the spirit of Bo Diddley, the Monks, and psychedelic music from West Africa to South- east Asia. "Phantom Rhythm" is the concept at the duo’s core: between Tom Ng's percussive guitar and Joshua Frank's melodic, charging bass, an aura of ghostly snare hits emerges over a thumping low-end pulse. Atop this framework, Ng recounts Cantonese tales of absurdity, love and lust with fragmented, wry vision.
On their first US release, Gong Gong Gong brings to life a cinematic chase scene. Shot-by-shot, frame-by-frame, "Siren" is a story of galloping hooves and screeching tires - a horse and car racing each other through mountains and desert, charging into the city. The flip-side, instrumental "Something's Happening" is Gong Gong Gong at their most raw: locomotive jangle and fuzz-faced roar. Dust, sweat and engine oil, the landscape rushing by.
2017'S EQUAL PARTS SOMNAMBULANT AND SULTRY SLEEPRYDR 7" WAS APTLY DESCRIBED AS "PSYCHEDELIC ROCK THAT HITS LIKE A DREAM DESPITE UNDOUBTEDLY SEEKING TO SOUNDTRACK NIGHTMARES" (-STEREOGUM). THANKFULLY, SLOW SUNDOWN, HOLY MOTORS' DEBUT FULL LENGTH RELEASE, FINDS THE ESTONIAN DREAMCATCHERS UTILIZING A SIMILAR SONIC PALETTE RANGING FROM DARK PSYCHEDELIC POP TO SHOEGAZE-INFLECTED WESTERN MUSIC. BUT WHILE SLEEPRYDR, MUCH LIKE 2015'S HEAVENLY CREATURES 7", PROVIDED ONLY A FLEETING GLIMPSE INTO THE DREAMSCAPE THAT THEIR MUSIC EVOKES, SLOW SUNDOWN'S EIGHT TRACKS OFFER A MORE IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCE FOR THOSE BRAVE ENOUGH TO TAKE THE RIDE. WHILE THE GUITAR LINES FROM LONELY COWBOY BALLADS LIKE "HONEYMOONING" COULD EASILY SERVE AS THE CENTRAL THEMES FOR UNWRITTEN MORRICCONE SCORES, DYSTOPIAN ANTHEMS LIKE THE RHYTHMICALLY PROPELLED "SIGNS" BREAK NEW GROUND FOR THE BAND AND DEMONSTRATE THAT HOLY MOTORS ARE NOT BOUND BY THEIR INFLUENCES.
A DRONE WHINES IN THE DISTANCE; HOROSCOPE JETTISONS A NEW 5-TRACK LP TITLED MISOGYNY STONE. IT HAS PRESCIENT TIMING: HERE WE SIT AT THE ABYSS OF MASCULINE POWER. ORIGINALLY FROM MIAMI FLORIDA BUT LIVING IN NEW YORK FOR OVER A DECADE, RENE J NUNEZ-CABRERA PRODUCES RAW SONIC COMPOSITIONS INDEBTED TO THE VISCERAL EXPERIENCE OF PERFORMANCE. THE NEW LP, HIS SECOND FOR WHARF CAT RECORDS, EXPANDS HIS PALETTE OF SOUND AND EXHIBITS THE ARTIST'S RANGE IN 5 SUCCINCT OPI: FROM PARANOID, BUZZING HEADSCAPES, TO MEDITATIVE, INDUSTRIAL DRUMMING. WASHES AND OTHER GESTURES OF CONTEMPORARY NOISE ABOUND, BUT THE ULTIMATE DESCRIPTOR FOR NUNEZ' PENCHANT IS MOOD. THE TITLE TRACK CONTAINS NUNEZ' VERSION OF A DEEP CLUB JAM, INTERTWINING LIGHT AND DARK, LOW AND HIGH, WITH KATHRYN UNDORFER'S SPOKEN WORD SITTING RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE, SONICALLY SPOTLIGHTED. "NARCISSIST VAGUE" HAS A RELIGIOUS BREADTH DESPITE ITS RELATIVELY SHORT EXISTENCE; WHILE "AZEBACHE NECKLACE BOUGHT TO PROTECT MY DAUGHTER" IS A SNARE-PEGGED STORY OF DELIVERING A TOTEM. THROUGH MODULAR MANIPULATIONS AND HIS ACUTE UTILITY OF PEDALS AND TAPES LOOPS, NUNEZ' DE- AND RECONSTRUCTS THE DYNAMICS OF GENDER RELATIONS: LOOK INTO THE MISOGYNY STONE; IT IS OPAQUE AND BLEAK.
BORN IN THE KITCHEN OF SOME STRANGER'S HOUSE AND CONCEIVED OF OVER MANY BOWLS OF PASTA AND LENTILS, CHIPS FOR DINNER IS THE GURGLING BRAINCHILD OF NEW YORK'S WEIRDEST. PALBERTA AND NO ONE AND THE SOMEBODIES (NOATS) FEEL RIGHT AT HOME TOGETHER, JOYOUSLY DISHING OUT SONIC ABSURDITIES AND DISPLAYING A CLEAR MUTUAL INFLUENCE ON EACH OTHER'S WORK. FOUR BROTHERS FROM WESTCHESTER COUNTY AND THREE THICK-AS-THIEVES FRIENDS LIVING IN THE HUDSON VALLEY HAVE CONCOCTED A REAL MUSICAL TREAT FOR ALL LOVERS OF THE PLAYFUL AND STRANGE. AS A FULL PACKAGE, CHIPS FOR DINNER SOUNDS LIKE A CELEBRATION OF ALL THE QUIRKS THAT EXIST WITHIN A TIGHT KNIT FRIENDSHIP, A TESTAMENT TO POST-REHEARSAL SNACK SESSIONS, AND A RECORD THAT IS AS FUN TO LISTEN TO AS IT SURELY WAS TO MAKE.
PROFLIGATE'S FIRST LP SINCE 2014, SOMEWHERE ELSE DEFTLY BALANCES SEEMING OPPOSITES - CHAOS AND COMPOSITION, MELODY AND NOISE, PROGRAMMED AND LIVE INSTRUMENTATION, ALL WITH A DISTINCTLY HUMAN TOUCH. MASTERED BY CARL SAFF, THE LP FEATURES A PRINTED INNER SLEEVE AND STICKER. PRE-ORDER YOUR LP OR DIGIPACK CD AT A SPECIAL PRICE IN THE LEAD UP TO THE 1/05 RELEASE DATE.
NOAH ANTHONY'S MUSIC RANGES FROM HEAVILY RHYTHMIC ELECTRONICS TO TIGHTLY COMPOSED SONGS. PROFLIGATE HAS TOURED THE U.S. AND EUROPE RECEIVING ACCLAIM FOR RECORDINGS AND VISCERAL LIVE PERFORMANCES. OVER THE SUMMER OF 2016 PROFLIGATE BEGAN OPERATING AS A DUO FEATURING L.A. POET/MUSICIAN ELAINE KAHN ON ADDITIONAL VOCALS AND INSTRUMENTATION. THE SOMEWHERE ELSE LP FEATURES TRACKS THEY WORKED ON TOGETHER AS WELL AS SOLO WORK FROM ANTHONY.
The debut EP from New York band Public Practice, Distance is a Mirror, is a confident, juried testimony of love steeped in dark optimism. Dry, deadpan o. With contradicting vocals chant over skittish guitar and danceable 70s grooves - songs snapping like rubber bands - seesawing between post-punk and its insomniac twin sister disceferences as overt as Talking Heads (without the shoulders), but as specific as Haruomi Hosono of Yellow Magic Orchestra (with some polka dots), the band is carrying a funky torch that does not get lit too often.The four members of Public Practice - singer Sam York, guitarist Vince McClelland, synth/bassist and vocalist Drew Citron, and drummer/programmer and producer Scott Rosenthal - are no strangers to song writing. A Brooklyn DIY super group of sorts, Public Practice combines members of freshly-dead punk project WALL and local pop band Beverly. Public Practice backs their ambitious songwriting with serious chops, their live shows already pulling them into the sharp foreground of a scene growing all too warm-and-fuzzy.
This 4 song debut EP anchors Public Practice as a new band with wisdom like their influences, bringing songs distinctly fresh as they are familiar. Tired of the familiar? Seeing dots? Wake up!
SNAKEHOLE HAS RETURNED, AND ON THE MIAMI/PHILADELPHIA NOISE ROCK DUO'S NEW LP, INTERLUDES OF INSANITY, KC TOIMIL AND AUTUMN CASEY UP THE CLARITY, VOLUME, CRUNCH, AND SOPHISTICATION IN A MAJOR WAY. RECORDED BY THE PROLIFIC AND PRECISE BEN GREENBERG (UNIFORM, MISSION HUBBLE) IN HUDSON, NEW YORK'S CAVERNOUS WATERFRONT STUDIOS, INTERLUDES OF INSANITY SHOWCASES THE DUO'S HEADWAY INTO LAYERING AND EXPERIMENTATION. THE LP MAKES NO QUALMS; IT'S THE MAIN ACT, AND IT WEDGES ITSELF FIRMLY INTO THE TRADITION OF COHESIVE, ALMOST NARRATIVE, ALBUMS. AUTUMN AND KC REITERATE THAT THE LP IS A CONTINUATION OF THEIR SELF-TITLED 12", AND THOUGH THERE ARE SIMILARITIES, INTERLUDES OF INSANITY FEELS MORE REALIZED, DEMONSTRATING A BAND FULLY IN CONTROL OF ITS SOUND AND ETHOS. FANS OF THE 12" WILL FIND MORE SNARLING, FILTH-DRENCHED GRIME ROCK, BUT, AS THAT RECORD HINTED AT, SNAKEHOLE HERE WIELDS BEAUTY JUST AS EASILY AS DARKNESS. THE PIANO SECTIONS THAT WOULD PEEK THEIR HEADS OUT OF THE WOODWORK SPORADICALLY ON THE 12" HAVE BECOME MORE FULL, MORE CENTRAL. BUT THERE'S UNEASE IN THE BEAUTY, TOO - A LITTLE BIT OF REALITY. THE ALBUM STANDS AS A TESTAMENT TO SELF-ACTUALIZATION, AND IT'S AS CLEAR AS IT IS ENGAGING.
TRUST PUNKS' NEW ALBUM, DOUBLE BLIND, AGGRESSIVELY CONSOLIDATES THEIR STRENGTHS AS ONE OF THE MOST EXHILARATING YOUNG ACTS OUT THERE - BLISTERINGLY SHARP, SMART AND SPRY. FROM THE COLD WATER SURF OF SURGING OPENER "PARADISE/ANGEL-WIRE", THE BAND IS ON A TEAR THROUGH AN AUSTRALASIA THAT'S A PRECARIOUS AND NASTY PLACE FOR THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS. WHETHER THEY'RE ADOPTING THE SNARLING ID OF SUBURBAN NATIONALISTS, OR CASTING A HARSH EYE ON THE AMERICAN WAY OF LIFE, INCARCERATION AND DEATH (AS ON THE INCONGRUOUSLY SPRIGHTLY 'GOOD LUCK WITH THAT') THEIRS IS A SERVING OF WIT AND FURY IN EQUAL MEASURE.
THEY'RE ALSO WILLING TO TURN THE GAZE ON THEMSELVES, AS BITTER, DISCORDANT EXORCISMS GIVE WAY TO AN UNBEARABLE SWEETNESS. THE STRIDENCY OF DOUBLE BIND'S OPENING 1-2 LEADS INTO THE POIGNANT JOLT OF "THE RESERVOIR", AS ALEXANDER GRANT PLEADS, "I’M NOT BOLD ENOUGH". ON "RIDING IT OUT", JOSEPH THOMAS GRIPS CRIPPLING DEPRESSION BY THE HORNS AND RIDES IT OVER A GRINDING KRAUTROCK BEAT. GRANT'S SEE-SAWING MELODIES AND THOMAS'S BELTING RASP ARE DOUBLE BIND'S YIN AND YANG - EACH A REMINDER OF THE CHALLENGING TERRAIN POST-PUNK WAS MEANT TO STAKE OUT.
On their first long player, Urochromes complement their catchy-as-fuck punk bangers with colorful experimen- tal rock that choogles forth like the waters of the Mississippi River Delta where it was recorded. There are classic Urochromes chargers like first single "Hair So Big" and the catchy kiss-off "Millieux" that pair Dick Riddick's concise and explosive guitar playing with some of frontman Jackie "Jackieboy" McDermott's best sketches of uptight, paranoid characters on the edge. "Rumshpringa" plays it straight with a beautiful slow-burning riff and soul-searching lyrics ("When do I get my Rum- shringa?... / I want to lean back in time like that Tower of Pisa"); it’s a new Urochromes classic where Riddick's licks spark and lilt through the bridge toward the closing verse's poignant refrain. These more restrained, contemplative moments balance out the uninhibited tenacity of the rest of the album - not something every punk) band is capable of achieving when they jump to the LP format.
Combining the authentic sound of Gary Wrong's Jeth-Row Studios with the engineering talents of longstanding Uro- chromes engineer Will Killingsworth (Dead Air Studios), Trope House delivers the most hi-fidelity Urochromes record- ing to date without sacrificing any spontaneity or raw power.
UROCHROMES CONTINUE AN AMAZING RUN WITH THE RELEASE OF THEIR FIRST FULLY REALIZED EXTENDED PLAYER, NIGHT BULLY. THE A-SIDE IS COMPRISED OF 3 FULL THROTTLE AND PERFECTLY CONDENSED PUNK SONGS, WHILE THE B-SIDE CHARTS NEW TERRITORY FOR THE GROUP. SEARING OPENER "MY DICKIES" IS A PLAYGROUND FOR DICK RIDDICK, ONE OF CONTEMPORARY PUNK'S STAND-OUT GUITARISTS AND A TRUE MASTER OF TONE. HERE HE SHOOTS FOR THE RAFTERS WITH AN ASCENDING LINE THAT SERVES AS THE TRACK'S CENTRAL HOOK. THE CREEPY WHISPERED VOCALS AND BANGING ELECTRONIC DRUMS OF "MY DISPOSITION" INTRODUCE ONE OF JACKIEBOY'S DOOMED CHARACTERS SWIMMING IN SELF-DOUBT. "CONFRONT YA" EXPLORES ADORATION WITH A PROMISE OF CONTINUED INDIFFERENCE ("THEY LOVE YOU IN WEST MASSâ€¦AHHHHHHH").