Austrian label Cut Surface has released a stunning compilation album featuring 20 of their artists. The tracks are sultry, fierce, industrial, post-punk, surf and psychedelic gems. This is a compilation where every track delivers up sonic goodness in huge portions. The perfect way for you to hear a lot of different bands and get the feel for the label's curation of artists. A definite must have. Stream and buy Compilation A at the link below.
Monday, August 21, 2017
After five releases in a little over nine months, Brooklyn pop auteur Chuck, aka Charles Griffin Gibson, is calling it quits with his final album Frankenstein Songs for the Grocery Store. The 15 tracks rollick through an urban landscape painting sprightly, twangy and catchy indie pop songs that are captivating in their simplicity and presentation. A fine album by an artist that would be welcome to stay around a while. Watch the video for album track New Yorker, then stream and buy Frankenstein Songs for the Grocery Store at the link below.
Thursday, August 17, 2017
The Clockwork Dance is the new two song single from UK band Vulovar. The two tracks are sultry post-punk with the title track having an eastern flair and mesmerizing drum beat. The second track is a live rendering that is a seven minute excursion into the band's Joy Divisionesque compelling live show.This is a fine band at their best. As a whole the two tracks are a nice followup to their album at the start of the year and wets our appetite for more. Watch the video and then stream and download The Clockwork Dance at the link below.
Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Dreams of Majesty is the new EP from Miami band Astari Nite. The four tracks are 80's retro new wave goodness. With a sound drawn from bands like Depeche Mode, Human League and The Cure, this EP sounds more like a throwback than an homage, with a strong dance beat, atmospheric vocals and a sound that is resplendent in all it's 80's glory. This EP is not a new take on an old theme, but is rather a nostalgic remake for those that missed the original time. Watch the video for the track Lovesick, then stream and buy Dreams of Majesty at the link below.
Tuesday, August 15, 2017
Chicago based singer-songwriter Ryan Joseph Anderson is back with his sophomore album, City of Vines. The ten tracks are a stylish romp through Americana, alt-country, blues and indie rock. With an authenticity to his songwriting and an earnestness to his delivery, Anderson is a troubadour for a new era. This is an ablum with a big sound, but yet an intimate feel; an album that speaks to musical roots and new possibilities. Stream and buy City of Vines at the link below.
Monday, August 14, 2017
Atlanta dreampop band Parsons Rocket Project have released their S/T debut EP. The six tracks have a diverse feel from stratospheric rock to a shimmering synthpop sheen, with heavy reverb and soaring guitar lines, swirling in an ambient continuum, paired with engaging vocals. This is a strong record that works as a nice sequenced piece all the way through, with an enjoyably compelling flow. Stream and buy Parsons Rocket Project at the link below.
Friday, August 11, 2017
Toronto based indie rock band Til Howl have released their S/T debut EP. The six tracks are wide ranging stylistically and show many diverse influences. Unfortunately, those influences are too omnipresent, as most tracks sound directly derivative. That said, this EP has superlative music on it, with a nice lo-fi production sheen and compelling arrangements and performances. With such obvious talent on display, one hopes that on subsequent releases this band finds their own original voice, as it would be a shame to see them consigned to the bin of forgotten imitators. Stream and buy Til Howl at the link below.
Thursday, August 10, 2017
LA band, Tombstones In Their Eyes, have released their latest EP Fear. The five tracks are a collection of garage tinged, psychedelic colored, indie rock. The songs are deep and dark, with mood swings from heavy crushing guitars to light a melodic passages. With influences from Pink Floyd to My Bloody Valentine, this EP is a compelling masterpiece that will appeal to a wide rock audience. A definite must have. Watch the video for EP track Always There, then stream and buy Fear at the link below.
Wednesday, August 9, 2017
Songbirds and Fog is the debut album from Arkansas based The Lark and the Loon. The husband & wife duo of Jeff Rolfzen and Rocky Steen-Rolfzen deliver 19 tracks of original, pristine Americana music. Their music is the closest you'll get to riding the rails with Woody Guthrie. Featuring wonderful vocal play between the two, engaging arrangements and an authenticity to their songwriting, that make the album a singular testament to the rich folk legacy that the duo embodies. The album is a definite must have. Stream and buy Songbirds and Fog at he link below.
Tuesday, August 8, 2017
FZB favorites The Bordellos have released Underground Tape Vol. 7, their latest installment of previously unreleased material. Regular readers of this blog will be very familiar with The Bordellos work, as they are featured here regularly via their prolific output. What you get on this EP is the band's compelling folkrock, with lo-fi production, intimate songs and the sound of a dark basement coffeehouse. We love The Bordellos, you should too. Stream and download Underground Tapes Vol. 7 at the link below.
Monday, August 7, 2017
In 2004, Canada's The Heavy Blinkers released The Night and I Are Still So Young. In the years that have passed, this superlative pop album has been named as one of the best records of the early 00's and is regarded as one of the best Canadian records ever. Now, Toronto indie Label Obscura have given this classic its first ever vinyl release and also made it available for digital download. This is an album that should be in everyone's collection and is a must have. Watch the video for the title track, then stream and buy The Night and I Are Still So Young at the link below.
Thursday, August 3, 2017
Texas artist Get A Life has released his debut 7", What You Deserve b/w 2 Plus 2 Equals 5.The first track is a dense industrial piece with heavy noise and a lo-fi feel The second track is the opposite with a light melodic structure, though still having industrial overtones. The record is enjoyable, but neither track really gives the listener anything to hold on to. The tracks just sort of unfold in front of you and when they're over, they leave nothing behind in the mind. They are just over. Check it out as it's definitely worth a listen. Stream and buy What You Deserve at the link below.
Tuesday, August 1, 2017
Always is the new album from Montreal based band Raveen. The nine tracks are atmospheric dream pop, but with a depth and musicality that one would expect from post-rock, not radio ready pop. This album is marked by its strengths. Strong arrangements, compelling production and enticing vocals, make this album a sublime listening .experience. Inspired performances and dark textures showcase one of the best albums of the year so far. Stream and buy Always at the link below.
Thursday, July 27, 2017
Our friends at North Carolina's Silber Records are back with some new entries in their 5in5 series, where artists do 5 songs in 5 minutes. Internet Hits the the new one from Dusty Tears, aka a project of Shane De Leon (Miss Massive Snowflake) and Jamie Smith (Danghead). The music wrought in 5 minutes is a testament to all that is good and righteous in rock music since its beginning of time. Turn it up loud and annoy a neighbor. Stream and buy Internet Hits at the link below.
Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Suddenly Constantly is the new EP from Montreal based artist Smileswithteeth, aka Gabriel Gutierrez. The four tracks are dream pop, that rely too much on overused glitchy cliches, rather than finding original sounds. The tracks are enjoyable as they stand, though they are light on melodic structure and lack cohesiveness. Overall this is an EP that is worth a listen and will certainly find some audience, but that also falls short on musicality and vision. Stream and buy Suddenly Constantly at the link below.
Tuesday, July 25, 2017
Haifa based Van Der Blute have released their S/T debut EP on Israeli label Schwarz Neon Licht Records. The four tracks are melodic electronica, that is strong on musicality and arrangement, with a solid bass player, while most importantly eschewing the overused cliche sounds and glitchyness so prevalent in electronic music today. What results is an EP that is original and engaging, that should be very welcome in everyone's collection. Stream and buy Van Dr Blute at the link below.
Monday, July 24, 2017
Scottish label Gold Mold Records brings us PolarPricks, the boisterous split EP from Grand Pricks and Polarnecks. The four tracks, two from each band, showcase the range of this EP with Grand Pricks taking influences from Weezer, Gang of Four and Teenage Fanclub, while Polarnecks deliver noisy grunge in the vein of Dinosaur Jr. The band's performances are sterling, but the sub par production is dull and muddled, taking the edge off of an otherwise strong record. Still, these are hot bands and their rock goodness shines through. Stream and buy PolarPricks Split at the link below.
Friday, July 21, 2017
What Lies Ahead is the debut EP from Long Island based Final Call. The five tracks are influenced by bands like Panic At The Disco and My Chemical Romance. This EP is locked in on the alt radio EMO formula of heavy guitars and light melodic vocals. The record is solid with good production, strong instrumental performances and vocals. The overall sound is too derivative and formulaic, but the album will definitely appeal to the new EMO scene. A good effort for a debut EP, but not a great one. With the talent displayed, we hope the band takes on more original directions on a followup. Stream and buy What Lies Ahead at the link below.
Thursday, July 20, 2017
With The Beetles is the new album from Kinbom & Kessner, a collaboration between lap steel virtuoso Fredrik Kinbom and writer/dramatist Sonja Kessner. The ten tracks are imaginative indie folk, with crisp production, deep lyrical themes and tight instrumental performances. Vocal duties are shared by the pair, but with only a couple of songs in English, the album will feel mostly out of reach to all but those who speak German. This is a shame, as this is an album that would do well with a wider audience, but is ultimately doomed to limited exposure. Give it a listen regardless of whether you can understand the lyrics, as this is a beautiful work, that will be enjoyable throughout. Stream and buy With The Beetles at the link below.
Tuesday, July 18, 2017
Italian artist, Sitting Girl With Arms Bent, has released her debut S/T album. The ten tracks are dark post-punk, with healthy doses of reverb, atmospheric vocals and sinister guitar parts. This album has an extremely edgy vibe and a rawness that takes one back to the original ethos of punk. The album conjures up imagery of dark urban scenes and shadowy figures. This is one of the best post-punk albums of the year so far and a definite must have. Stream and buy Sitting Girl With Arms Bent at the link below.
Monday, July 17, 2017
Missed Month is the latest album from Toronto artist/producer New Tendencies, aka Matt Nish-Lapidus. The five tracks were born out of electronic explorations and discovery on a newly built modular synth. What results, is an album full of wonderfully unique synth pads, textures and phrases. With a glitchy vibe, perfectly placed noise and just enough melodic structure to hold things together, this album is surprising in its depth and welcome in its uniqueness and experimental verve. This is a must have for all synthesizer aficionados. Stream and buy Missed Month at the link below.
Friday, July 14, 2017
In a career that spans 5 decades, Ric Gordon has released 14 albums and EP's under various monikers, and produced another 26 for other artists. Today on the eve of his 64th birthday, Gordon releases his first studio album in 4 years, but with a twist. Instead of one album, he is releasing two EP's one electric, releasing today, and the other acoustic, releasing September 1st.. Today's release, Despair's Lover is a five track post punk gem, with large helpings of edgy, heavy and twangy. Lyrically, the tracks are about despair in love, urban existence and at a government gone bad. This is a definite must have, that should be in everyone's collection. Stream and buy Despair's Lover at the link below. Then preview the second EP, Standing Here, by listening to the advance track Rise Above at the link below, and watch for a review of the EP on Sept. 1st.
Thursday, July 13, 2017
Legendary artist/producer John Fryer has released Lost In Reflection, his second album under the Black Needle Noise moniker. Known for his production work for Nine Inch Nails, Cocteau Twins and Depeche Mode, as well as being co-founder of This Mortal Coil, the eleven tracks feature 10 different vocalists, have great depth and range stylistically, while still having a noisy sheen and edgy sonic texture. A master work from a seminal artist/producer, that should be required listening for all. Stream and buy Lost In Reflection at the link below.
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Gavia is the new EP from FZB favorites Hanetration. The UK group deliver four tracks that inhabit the space between IDM and ambient genres. No mean feat as on the surface, there is little common ground. Hanetration overcome this with an ambient based EP that is big on melodic structure and beat, while still keeping an ambient base throughout. This EP is highly original and has some fine unique electronic sounds. A definate must have. Stream and download the Gavia EP for free at the link below.
Tuesday, July 11, 2017
One is the debut EP from Glasgow band, The Sinking Feeling on Gold Mold Records. The three tracks are alt-rock EMO, the commercial radio variety, with influences from The Used, Panic at the Disco and Weezer. There has always been a formula to this kind of music, which is less adventurous and edgy compared to the more punk variety. This EP features solid vocals, instrumental performances and songwriting, but is lacking on originality, as this has all been done, just this way for a long time. If you're in the need for some new EMO just the way you remembered it, give this one a try. Stream and buy One at the link below.
Monday, July 10, 2017
The Gospel According To John is the new album from L.A. band The Black Watch. The eight tracks are stylish indie rock with influences from psychedelic to shoegaze. The songs are varied and dynamic, abound with interesting guitar riffs and strong vocals, where every part fits perfectly. The album showcases a band that consistently puts it all together and delivers great music. Watch the video for album track Way Strange World, then stream and buy The Gospel According To John at the link below.
Tuesday, July 4, 2017
FZB favorites Boobs of Doom have a new split album with Stupid Cosmonaut. The UK groups each serve up a side of edgy and inventive instrumental music. Employing elements of ambient, drone, metal and electronic, each track engages the senses with compelling textures into a totally enthralling sonic experience. Dark, original and ambitious, this album is a must have. Stream and download this split album at the link below.
Monday, July 3, 2017
Prismatic is the new album from Seattle guitarist/composer Elliot Knapp. The four tracks, providing almost 45 minutes of music, are an adventurous blend of ambient drones and energetic post-rock. Knapp weaves together unique sounding guitar parts to deliver an instrumental album that is big on originality. Regular readers of this blog know that we are not fans of instrumental rock, which mostly sounds like unfinished songs that someone forgot to put vocals on. Such is not the case with this album. Knapp has crafted an album with compositions that stand on their own as instrumental works, with interesting melodies, vibrant textures and an altogether enjoyable vibe. Stream and download Prismatic at the link below.
Friday, June 30, 2017
#10 The Pinkerton Raid
#8 Scotch Hollow
#7 Black Fjords
#6 Phil Reynolds and the Uncertain Future
#5 The Bordellos
#4 The Masonics
#3 Olive & The Pitz
#2 The Variety Hour
#1 Wes John Cichosz
Thursday, June 29, 2017
Reality? is the debut EP from Leeds, UK grunge band Vs. With a slow, dark groan, the three tracks recall the original Seattle sounds. Heavy, dense and foreboding, with a feel of melancholy, this album is the real deal and could be the most authentic grunge sound since the 90's. While the album is strong, the production is disappointing, with a sound that is muddled and lacks punch. That aside, this is a band to take notice of and hopefully they will re-emerge with a professionally produced full length, so we can really hear what they can achieve. Stream and buy Reality? at the link below.
Wednesday, June 28, 2017
In Waves is the new EP from New Jersey band, Old City Revival. The six tracks are pretty straight formulaic alt-rock. Radio ready and familiar, the band deliver solid performances on a polished and well produced record. If alt-rock is your thing you'll love it. This is mainstream music that neither innovates nor challenges. Everything here has been done before, ad infinatum. If you like the rut, stream and buy In Waves at the link below.
Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Milwaukee/Chicago trio Evacuate The Earth are back with their S/T sophomore album. The eight tracks are a terse blend of styles ranging through jazz, electronic and post-rock. What emerges is most aptly defined as free jazz with some experimental glitchyness. The album challenges the listener as its stylistic diversity requires contemplation and immersion. Not an album for everyone; it will appeal to those who like their music avant garde and edgy. Stream and buy Evacuate The Earth at the link below.
Monday, June 26, 2017
Bristol, UK band Secret Shine are back with a new album, There Is Only Now, on Texas indie label Saint Marie Records. Formed in 1991 as one of the first wave of shoegaze bands, Secret Shine delivers an album with ten tracks of atmospheric dreampop anthems. Deep, dense and haunting, the album is an intimate listening experience and shows a band that is still at the top of their game after a quarter century. Stream and buy There Is Only Now at the link below.
Friday, June 23, 2017
Total Squaresville is the new album from artist producer Pattern Language, aka Chris Frain. Released on UK label Happy Robot Records, the six tracks are a melodic journey through a true synthesizer album. Unlike most electronic music, where the synths are used for cliche genre sounds, this album is an exploration of the synthesizer as a bonafide orchestral instrument. The album marries sweeping melodic passages, with adventurous synth pads to deliver a sonic experience of depth and beauty. Watch the video for album track, By Time We Get There, then stream and buy Total Squaresville at the link below.
Thursday, June 22, 2017
Colorful Radiation is the eleventh studio album from San Diego experimental rocker Sluka. The ten tracks are adventurous affairs, with a Bowiesque sheen that sees a stylistic blend of everything from The Flaming Lips to Keane. With that pop pedigree, one also gets plenty of edge, swagger and depth. This album is a must have. Watch the video for album track Number one, then stream and buy Colorful Radiation at the link below.
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Montreal based Broken Muse, have just released their S/T debut album. Largely the work of singer/songwriter Mark Goodwin, the ten tracks are a slick take on Americana and alt-country, with superlative vocals from Mariana Gianelli. Upbeat, rock driven country, pulses with excitement, as the band takes itself through an essentially live recorded studio album. The performances are inspired and the resulting record is tight and totally compelling. This is an absolute must have. Stream and buy Broken Muse at the link below.
Monday, June 19, 2017
North Carolina's Silber Records brings us Cottage Mess, the new album from Moodring. The eight tracks are atmospheric experimental music that pushes song structure boundaries where melodic and dissonant passages interplay with unique textures. This is an album about musical exploration with a near classical feel. A must have. Stream and buy Cottage Mess at the link below.
Friday, June 16, 2017
Songs About Love and Depression is the new album from Swedish band Dark Continent. After releasing two albums from 1989 - 1993, the band reunited in 2013. The 10 tracks here showcase a band that is in touch with current music, with a sound that incorporates elements of post-punk and altrock. The songs have a radio ready feel, a familiar vibe, strong hooks and lyrics that deliver a message. Watch the video for album track Love Hate ADHD, then stream and buy Songs About Love and Depression at the link below.
Thursday, June 15, 2017
Lisbon Lux Records have released Always Loved, the debut full length from Montreal artist/producer Das Mortal, aka Cristobal Cortes. The ten tracks are an imaginative interpretation of 80's synthpop. Featuring dark vocals, deep synthpads and catchy rhythms, this album is a perfect blend of old and new. Staying true to the sound developed by bands like Depeche Mode, Human League and Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark, the album glistens with sterling production and songs that are intimate with the listener. A definite must have. Watch the video for album track, Risking My Life, then stream and buy Always Loved at the link below.
Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Austin punks, Institute, are back with a new album Subordination; their fifth release and sophomore full length album, Released on Sorry State Records, the nine tracks see the band expanding out of the punk genre, with sounds that remind of classic Black Sabbath, glam rock and other influences, all the while staying true to the punk ethos. Flawless production, exceptional performances and great songs are the hallmark of this album. This is an must have that should be in everyone's collection. Stream and buy Subordination at the link below.
Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Eric Anders has released, Eleven Nine," a ten track anti-Trump masterpiece that sees all album proceeds donated to Lambda Legal. The album is an eloquent, considered response to the horrific election of a racist, elitist moron to the presidency. With a classic singer/songwriter sonic vibe, compelling lyrics and tasty instrumental performances, this is an album that speaks to the despair the election caused, while delivering a strong musical experience. This is a definite must have. Stream and buy Eleven Nine at the link below.
Monday, June 12, 2017
The Simian Syndrome is the debut album from Chicago duo Grape Juice Plus. Featuring Barry Bennett on drums, keys and vocals, and Eric Klotz on guitar, these guys are not the usual guitar drum rock duo like Black Keys or Japandroids. What you get is a highly original, experimental band that pushes the limits everywhere. This is an album of edgy, discordant, improvisational music, with plenty of depth, ranging from rock cliches to African tribal rhythms. This is one of the most creative albums so far this year and will challenge listeners at all levels. A definite must have. Stream and buy The Simian Syndrome at the link below.
Friday, June 9, 2017
Scottish label Bearsuit Records have released L + R, the new album from artist/producer Ippu Mitsui. The eleven tracks deliver an experimental based electro pop experience that is large with unique synth pads and interesting melodies, embedded in a package of recognizable genre sounds and cliches. With an adventurous bent and a glitchy finish, this is an electronic journey of depth and interesting sonic twists. Stream and buy L + R at the link below.
Thursday, June 8, 2017
Sparkle Tip is the new EP from Chicago brother/sister duo Zigtebra, on indie label FPE Records. The five tracks are edgy, rock leaning synthpop, with a bit more depth than is usual for this genre. Originality in the songs and arrangements highlight a strong and varied album, that will appeal to a wide swath of the indie community. This is a definite must have. Stream and buy Sparkle Tip at the link below.
Wednesday, June 7, 2017
The rather anonymously titled EP II, is the new release from Toronto band Ruby Cikada. The six tracks roam a wide range, with sounds drawn from folk, psychedelic and indie rock, and touches of blues and jazz thrown in. What this yields is a bit of an uneven album that, while enjoyable, is also difficult to feel connected with. The production is understated and could use some real energy in the tracks. Overall a good album, but also one that will not stand out from the crowd. Stream and buy EP II at the link below.
Tuesday, June 6, 2017
Seconds is the debut full length from Toronto's Midnight Vesta. The nine tracks wind their way through harmony driven folk rock, exuberant indie rock and wonderful troubadour stories. One of the most compelling features of this band is they have their own musical identity, rather than being yet another Mumford clone. Crisp production and tight harmonies cap off an strong album that should be in everyone's collection. Watch the video for album track Second Chances, then stream and buy Seconds at the link below.
Monday, June 5, 2017
Cult of Sargasso is the new album from Birmingham, AL band, Dead Sea Flowers. The eight tracks are deep psychedelic experiences, but not in the way that phrase is typically used now. This album showcases a band that could be playing the Fillmore West, with an audience tripping and falling through the music and lights. This is psychedelic music in all its San Francisco, LSD noise induced glory. Just a cool record from start to finish and a definite must have. Stream and buy Cult of Sargasso at the link below.
Friday, June 2, 2017
Chicago indie band The Thin Cherries have released their S/T debut album. The ten tracks embrace a deep psychedelic vibe, paired with a shoegaze foundation, to bring us an album with a retro feel, but modern sound. Melodic instrumental passages and a tight rhythm section take the foreground shoring up somewhat weaker vocals. An enjoyable album, with a unique perspective on delivering a retro theme. Stream and buy The Thin Cherries
Thursday, June 1, 2017
Running The Shine is the new album from Chattanooga indie band Mythical Motors. . Many albums have a retro feel, but these sixteen tracks mark a work that feels lost in time, a refuge from the past. The production is lo-fi, the sonic vibe is 60's and the whole album sort of falls out before the listener in a derivative cascade, like cereal from a box. There are no grand musical statements, either in the songwriting or the performances. This is an album that fails to excite. Stream and buy Running The Shine at the link below.
Wednesday, May 31, 2017
Swedish indie rock band, The Search, have released their new album, Songs About Losers. The massive seventeen track collection channels diverse influences from The Smiths, U2, and Depeche Mode, to deliver a sound instantly familiar, yet uniquely their own. The tracks are firmly to the pop side of spectrum and have a bit of a formula feel, but work collectively and the the album is strong and enjoyable. Stream and buy Songs About Losers at the link below.