Threshold is the new EP from Portland duo, The Mutineers. The six tracks are something you don't hear much of anymore, straight up rock and roll. The EP serves up hard, edgy music that reminds one of what made rock good to begin with. You get all the expected blues influences, with a pinch of rockabilly thrown in to deliver an EP of authentic, no pretense rock music, that is as strong as it is enjoyable. Is this record a bit of a throwback stylistically, yes. Does that in any way take away from the sonic strength and goodness it delivers, no. This is a record that took balls to make and that stands on its own as a definitive artistic work. This is a definite must have for anyone not content to be that wimp that sits alone in the corner. Stream and buy Threshold at the link below.
Thursday, October 18, 2018
L'Ère du Vide is the new album from Quebec based band Jet Black. While the band describe themselves as altrock, what you do not get is the limited formulaic music that spews forth from most altrock bands. The eight tracks come off musically with a bit of an Interpol meets Radiohead vibe and showcase a band that is sonically diverse, smooth yet decidedly edgy, heavy but still melodic, with depth and superlative chops. This is an album that is progressive, with a nice shoegaze sheen, while still being supremely listenable. This is also a band that gives themselves big challenges and then rises to the occasion by delivering all that one could expect. A definite must have. Stream and buy L'Ère du Vide at the link below.
Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Have A Nice Day is the new album from Ontario based singer/songwriter Nick Ferrio. The eight tracks are nice, jangly indie rock, such as one would expect from Mac Demarco or The Hold Steady, though a bit more limited sonically and stylistically than either. The songs are catchy, but the hooks are a bit week in delivery and the recording could benefit greatly from a bit more energy. The performances both instrumentally and vocally are good, with some especially tasty guitar licks. As a whole the album is solid and enjoyable, but also a bit underwhelming. Stream and buy Have A Nice Day at the link below.
Tuesday, October 16, 2018
I Can't Alone is the third EP from Helsinki band The Fisherman & The Sea. The five tracks are crisp, clean rock with a bit of a folk edge that recalls the best of Death Cab For Cutie. The first thing that strikes you about this EP is the pristine production, which give the vocals and instruments an immediately compelling presence. A presence that is well deserved with catchy, engaging songs, towering harmonies and a stylish delivery that strikes a perfect balance between polish and edge.One would expect a band to reach a certain maturity by their third release in, but what you get here is a band hitting the peak of its powers, showing they are force to be reckoned with and also that there is likely a lot more where this came from. Get on the bus or be left very much behind on this absolute must have. Watch the video for EP track Skinny Dip, then stream and buy I Can't Alone at the link below.
Monday, October 15, 2018
The Floors of Deception, side project of FZB favorite Sciencevision, has released a new single, Perpetuating Dream. At times calling to mind Modest Mouse, Perpetuating Dream is experimental in song structure, chord progression, and special effects; it blends ambient guitars and synths with somewhat effaced, obscured lyrics delivered by a very present vocalist. It's a nice, chill piece for relaxing or simple enjoyment. Stream and buy Perpetual Dream at the link below.
Friday, October 12, 2018
The In Part Of The Out Crowd is the new album from New Jersey band Acid. The ten tracks showcase something sorely missing in idie right now, just a straight up rock band...and what a rock band they are. Think the best parts of Cheap Trick and The Move at the height of their powers. The album is hard edged and driving with catchy songs, perfectly executed as rock extravaganzas meant to bring down the building around you. If you've never listened to Cheap Trick Live at Budokan, then do, and then put it back in the past where it belongs and embrace Acid as your new rock gods. This album is an absolute must have. Stream and buy The In Part Of The Out Crowd at the link below.
Thursday, October 11, 2018
In Support Of 5ame Dude - Vol 1 is the unconventional debut from new Orleans artist Alex Ebert. The five tracks were recorded in 2004, but were not released. The Volume 1 connotation comes from Ebert's intention to release several volumes of his music recorded over the last 14 years. To call these tracks original would not do them justice, as the EP showcases a truly unique artistic vision. One can here similarities that span a musical solar system from David Bowie to Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeroes. The music is engaging, theatrical and totally cool. Stream and buy In Support Of 5ame Dude - Vol 1 at the link below.
Wednesday, October 10, 2018
Clocktower Broke is the debut album from Massachusetts band Cheap City. The eight tracks are a breath of fresh air to the indie music with their wonderful originality. The closest comparison one might conjure is the Hold Steady, but that's a stretch. Cheap City are a band that has found their own voice, that they describe as dance punk. The album is a edgy as a narrow cliff road, as raw as a fresh cut and as dynamic as slamming the door on a salesman. This is an album that will stay on repeat; it hits on all the points that make a great record, it's heavy, stark, has a nice live feel vibe, a unique sense of meter and arrangement...and rocks your arse off. Let go of your high school civics teacher life and blow your brains out with some authentic rock goodness. Stream and buy Clocktower Broke at the link below.
Tuesday, October 9, 2018
The Hold Steady have been an indie feature band for years and they continue a string of recent single releases with Confusion in The Marketplace b/w T-Shirt Tux. Confusion in The Marketplace provides instantaneous headbangability, and T-Shirt Tux doesn't let up on it. These guys play good old time rock and roll, with a hint of ska and rockabilly thrown in, garnished with a flair all their own. Driving bass lines, expressive guitars, energetic drums, and even some real groovy keys make an appearance alongside emotive vocals with a perfect hint of vibrato here and there. Let's just say that a release like this with only two songs is a tease - we want more! Stream and buy Confusion in The Marketplace b/w T-Shirt Tux at the link below.
Monday, October 8, 2018
Art d'Ecco, the mysterious Canadian glam-rocker, has released two lead singles from his much-anticipated debut album Trespasser, due out October 12, 2018 via Paper Bag Records. Mesmerizing sounds, beats, and vocals combine to captivate the listener from the get-go. He puts the 'fun' in funky - it's a dance party in your ears, and if you don't watch out, you'll catch yourself dancing in the mirror, too; watch the music video for Nobody's Home (link below), and you're done for - you'll never be able to stop yourself. After you recover from all that, stream and buy Nobody's Home and Never Tell at the links below.
Friday, October 5, 2018
Hold Me b/w Something New is the debut single from indie artist Lizzi Leigh on Russian Winter Records. The two tracks are minimalist gems, with just acoustic guitar framing Leigh's stunning vocals. There has been a bit of an indie trend lately, with a particular signature sound developing for female vocalists, and Lizzi Leigh's voice defines this; packed with emotion, smooth but yet still edgy, with a pure range that sees here hitting high notes cold with perfect precision. The two songs are engaging lyrically and are totally compelling listens, that will stay on repeat waiting for her debut album coming in the spring. An absolute must have. Stream and buy Hold me b/w/ Something new at the link below.
Thursday, October 4, 2018
The debut studio album, Tenets, by Austin synth pop duo BUHU is like a memoir of sorts. Lead singer Jeremy Rogers bravely lays forth all that love and loss have taught him thus far in life. BUHU bears some definite similarities to Washed Out, maintaining allegiance to synthgaze and dream pop, but with an added touch of focus and clarity. Ambient, enveloping sound coupled with gut-wrenching, honest vocals and haunting lyrics yield a very moving record. Deeply reflective and inviting, the album beckons the listener: love with me, grieve with me, change with me. This album is a must have. Watch the video for album track La Truth, then stream and buy Tenets at the links below.
Wednesday, October 3, 2018
Canadian artist Mike Edel recently released his latest song 31. This indie pop/indie rock track sounds radio-ready, and Chris Walla of Death Cab For Cutie did a beautiful job producing it. Mike Edel has crafted a feel-good tune, in which he stands up for himself and all the other young-at-heart and unsettled-in-life 30-something-year-olds, disputing the status quo and societal assumptions about what it means to grow up, and when. Watch the official lyric video, then stream and buy 31 at the links below.
Tuesday, October 2, 2018
Portland-based lifelong friends and trio Joypress (Chayse Goda, Michael Nazari, and Zac Olsen) self-released their debut full-length album Here On Out in July. With a super lo-fi sound and an all fun feel, this album is captivating and unassumingly optimistic. Michael Nazari has a quippy albeit familiar vocal style, well-suited to the blend of genres depicted - garage band pop-punk, sprinkled with americana influences, and watermarked by ska. The guitar is grabby, and the drums drive it. While parts are minorly stereotypical at times, that doesn't at all detract from the absolute feel-goodness this album induces. Stream and buy Here On Out at the link below.
Monday, October 1, 2018
No Means No is the debut album from Portland band Ezza Rose. If you remember our review of their second single from this album Baby, Come Down, you know we love this band, and now having the whole album that feeling has only grown. Their namesake lead singer has the kind of pure rock voice that is always in short supply, with a smooth intensity that moves the listener to their core. The band also has some of the most sultry and seductive guitar licks we've heard in a long time. Taken together, what you'll find is a great record that hits at every level one could want, stylish, engaging, edgy and an abundance of chops. This is an absolute must have. Watch the video fro title track No Means No, then stream and buy the album at the link below.