Under Burning Sun is the new album from Connecticut based Farewood. The eleven tracks are master strokes of shoegaze anthems. Heavy, melodic, haunting, atmospheric and sultry, this is an album that touches all the bases. Expertly performed, written and produced, the whole album is a compelling work of art that shows just how good a record can be, when all the pieces fit. This is an absolute must have. Stream and buy Under Burning Sun at the link below.
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Friday, November 30, 2018
Ska royalty Neville Staple (The Specials) and Sugary Staple have released their new album, Rude Rebels, featuring guitar work from The Specials' Roddy Radiation. The fourteen tracks are pure ska goodness, from seminal players in the genre. It doesn't get much better than this, with a record of authentic sounds that once again highlight just how much fun this music can be. The album draws you in and doesn't let go. An absolute must have for those that loved this music originally, and also for a new generation to discover why this music has never lost its appeal. Watch the video for album track Way of Life, then stream and buy Rude Rebels at the link below.
Thursday, November 29, 2018
EP1 is the debut from Toronto artist, Pleasure Craft, aka Sam Lewis. The five tracks are a varied journey through R&B and synthpop songs stylings. Lewis, is a masterful writer and vocalist and these aspects alone on the EP are compelling, but one also finds, original, imaginative arrangements and instrumental voicings. This is an artist that goes outside the box to create catchy compelling indie rock that should be on everyone's radar. After two previous singles, EP1 serves notice that Lewis is an artist to be reckoned with and one who will be around a long time. This is an absolute must have. Watch the video for EP track Back In The Game, then stream and buy EP1 ast the link below.
To Touch The Milky Way is the new album from Portland band Black Tape For A Blue Girl. The seven tracks are highly experimental works, with an ethereal, atmospheric sound. Eschewing traditional song forms, the album delivers an avant garde listening experience for those seeking a unique highly original format. The songs are melodic, at times more ambient than actual songs, with minimalist arrangements. This is an album that shuns commercial music values, hooks, catchyness and everything else usually found in modern music, for an art for arts sake approach. This is not music that will appeal to everyone, but for those adventurous souls wanting something far off the beaten path, this might be just what you're looking for. Stream and buy To Touch The Milky Way at the link below.
Wednesday, November 28, 2018
Minneapolis band Porcupine have released their new EP, Carrier Wave, produced by rock icon Steve Albini. The band of Casey Virock, Ian Prince and Greg Norton (Hüsker Dü) deliver 6 tracks of stylish, dynamic indie rock in the vein of Queens of the Stone Age and Swervedriver. Melodic and dynamic, with a nice edge and rawness that make this an EP that stands out from the crowd. The tracks have a nice live feel to them and sound familiar yet original, with tasty guitar work and a rhythm section that's solid and driving. This EP is a definite must have. Stream and buy Carrier Wave at the link below.
German netlabel Afmusic has released, Join the Dark Side, We Have the Music!, a compilation celebrating the label's 10th birthday. The fourteen tracks from fourteen different artists span the label's years and the breadth of their catalog. you'll find stunning from bands like FZB's favorites Principie Valiente, The Foreign Resort and Art Noir. This album is packed with a great variety of post-punk goodness and the compilation is a great way to sample Afmusic's catalog and the great music they have curated over their decade in existence. Watch the video for album track House, then stream and buy Join the Dark Side, We Have the Music! at the link below.
Tuesday, November 27, 2018
Imaginatively titled, Radiornot, is the debut album from from Italian experimental rock project, Paliki, aka Mariano Felisio. The eleven tracks cover a lot of sonic ground recalling music from the likes of Gang of Four and The Cure, to TV On The Radio and Prince. All these influences blend together into an album that is diverse stylistically, instrumentally and melodically. Eschewing obvious commercialism for a more avant garde edge, Felisio delivers an album that will satisfy guitar based listeners as well as those more into electronic music. This is an album of range, depth and accomplishment. Stream and buy Radiornot at the link below.
Time Flies When You Are Having Fun is the new album fro French electronic artist, The Dictaphone, aka Jeremie Morin. The three extended tracks, totalling 35 minutes of music, are towering ambient pieces, with dense, complex sonic imagery, dark, noise laden melodic passages and a raw, edgy vibe. There is enough sonic dissonance to make nerves bristle, while at the same time resolving to a tranquil state, before once again taking the edge up a notch. This album is imaginative and original, with ample synth musicianship to satisfy the pickiest of listeners. Stream and buy Time Flies When You Are Having Fun at the link below.
Monday, November 26, 2018
The Order of Now is the third album from Denmark/UK collaboration Perpacity, aka Ian Harling and Martin Nyrup. The thirteen tracks are dark synthpop, with engaging beats, imaginative synth pads and vocals with a deep timbre. With lyrics drawing a sense of foreboding and an edgy sheen to the tracks, the duo evoke the sensuality of a dimly lit alley way encounter. The album plays out with purposefully subdued energy that is doled out at specific instances to maintain an engaging trance like quality to the music. An album that will be on repeat for a while. Stream and buy The Order of Now at the link below.
UK indie label and purveyors of all that is experimental, Submarine Broadcating Company, bring us Manifesto, the new album from German duo Stringmodulator. The ten tracks were made all in one take, utilizing only bass and guitar. What one hears is a broad sonic palette of experimental sounds, unexpected melodies and rhythms paired with an engaging sense of arrangement. Taken togther, the album yields wholly unexpected depth and creativity, embodied in an experimental landscape of unique and original music. This album is a definite must have. Stream and buy Manifesto at the link below.
Wednesday, November 21, 2018
Where If Not Now is the debut full length from Slovakian band Haiku Garden. The ten tracks are dense, noisey shoegaze with a bit of a lofi sheen. Employing some Beatlesque sonic imagery, the band delivers a strong album that continues to divulge more sonic complexity with each listen. With a nice rawness and darkish vibe, the album checks all the boxes one could want from modern shoegaze. This is a reverby, atmospheric gem that should be in any afficianadoes collection. Stream and buy Where If Not Now at the link below.
Image is the debut full length from Brussels band Whispering Sons. The ten tracks have an edgy post-punk sound, with a bit of a Joy Division, Ultravox vibe. Dark and reverby, with an urgency and rawness to both the music and vocals, all wrapped in an 80s retro post-punk aesthetic. The album delivers an aural experience worthy of a dark, smokey, back street club or a late night intimate encounter with a stranger. Driving, atmospheric, sensual and foreboding, Whispering Sons serve up everything one could want from the genre. Stream and buy Image at the link below.
Tuesday, November 20, 2018
Virginia based singer/songwriter duo, Box of Moxie, aka Stephen Jacques and Alan Weatherhead are back with, Train Car Romance, their second single release in a month. The track is a smooth adult contemporary piece, with nice melodic touches, and a good arrangement and production. Unfortunately, as was the case with the last single, this track is a lackluster affair, with a weak hook, a lack of compelling lyrics and vocals that are only adequate. This duo seems content to release singles without having enough in the track to garner true engagement with the listener. Worth a listen, but not something one will likely come back to after that. Stream and buy Train Car Romance at the link below.
Hot Chicken Sandwich is the debut EP from Ontario based singer/songwriter Kent. The five tracks are, to be blunt...absolutely fucking perfect. Kent is a superlative songwriter, plays some of the tastiest licks this side of heaven and delivers up a rousing form of roots folkrock that is so good, it will probably be a schedule 2 drug soon. This is an artist's artist, showing a musical depth and virtuosity that is almost unheard of today. This EP is so original, so unique and so good we really don't know what to say about it; anything we write sounds trite in comparison. This may be the best thing we will here all year and is an absolute must have.
Monday, November 19, 2018
Lost in Japan is the new S/T album from the Ontario based band. The twelve tracks serve up some super tasty indie rock, paired with catchy songs and a bit of a Jimmy Eat World vibe. The striking guitar playing on this album absolutely stands out, with some truly great chops on display, both technically and aesthetically. There are some horns there to surprise, the rhythm section is as tight as a preacher in a strip club and the whole album has enough energy to power a city. This is an album that has depth, as well as a radio ready vibe. Just strong as strong can be and an absolute must have. Stream and buy Lost In Japan at the link below.
Vienna indie label Cut Surface Records, bring us the self titled debut album from Lady Lynch. The ten tracks take a punk aesthetic and an experimental vibe and craft them into an album that is dark, sensual and heavy. The tracks play in a sultry wave of energy, with simple individual parts meshing ito a complex sonic experience that is both foreboding and enticing. This is one of those albums that has such a intimate vibe, one finds themselves lost in it without realizing that hours have passed and it's still playing. This is a totally compelling album and an absolute must have. Stream and buy Lady Lynch at the link below.
Friday, November 16, 2018
Its Shape Is Your Touch is the new album from Massachusetts based artist Wendy Eisenberg. The seven tracks explore the intersection between the avant garde aesthetic of the 50's beat movement and modern experimental music. Utilizing an array of of instrumentation, synthesis, and voice, Eisenberg constructs an aural architecture of uniquely original sonic textures and melodic substrates. This is music to experience as a totally immersive head trip, taking in each passage as an entree to the whole of the album. Stream and buy Its Shape Is Your Touch at the link below.
FZB favorites, Sturqen are back with their new album Survivalismo on Vienna based indie label Kvitnu. The ten tracks are dark, original, enticing electronica. Employing an expansive sound that envelops the listener with unique synthpads and moving rhythms that weave a compelling sonic tapestry. With arrangements and dynamics, never quite being dance music, but yet never straying to far from it, the album is mesmerizing in its aural complexity and engaging sonic vibe. A definite must have. Watch the video for album track Adaga, then stream and buy Survivalismo at the link below.
Thursday, November 15, 2018
Athens based The Callas have teamed up with Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo to deliver their third album, Trouble And Desire on Greek label Inner Ear Records and UK label Dirty Water Records. The fourteen tracks are just what one would expect from such a pairing of talent, superlative rock music. Deep, heavy, ethereal and surprising, the album blends post-punk and garage stylings with a helping of shoegaze to deliver an album as strong and appealing as Absinthe jello shots. Few records can manage to shine through fourteen tracks with no filler, but this album is the real deal and shines like a beacon from start to finish. An absolute must have. Watch the video for album track Melania, then stream and buy Trouble And Desire at the link below.
Ontario band Big Lonely bring us their new album, Bad Magic. The nine tracks are energetic indie rock/alt rock that eschews formulaic music for a nice original sound incorporating the best of the genres. Catchy songs with good hooks, memorable musicianship and strong vocals with engaging harmonies. It's a hard thing these days to do a rock record that has an honest and original sound, but Big Lonely, have the knack for taking what has worked in the past and serving it up in a fresh and interesting package.This is an album of depth and style, and is a must have. Watch the video for album track Ticket, then stream and buy Bad Magic at the link below.
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
In Dreams There Are No Deathbeds is the debut full length from NYC folkrock band, Appalachian Apollo. The twelve tracks are something quite rare for bands in this genre, they have an original sound. With so many in the genre succumbing to the Mumfortization of music, it is refreshing to see a folkrock ensemble unafraid to find their own sound and blaze their own trail. What you get is music that ranges from good time rock, through jugband flourishes, and nice traditional passages; all held together by enough energy to keep the fires going through a long Appalachian winter. Solid songwriting, imaginative arrangements and superlative musicianship are hallmarks of an album that is strong from start to finish. A definite must have. Stream and buy In Dreams There Are No Deathbeds at the link below.
Florence, Italy based band Piqued Jacks have released their latest album The Living Past. With a sound melding the indie rock of Death Cab For Cutie with the stadium rock of Imagine Dragons, the albums delivers nine tracks of huge memorable rock. With strong hooks, production that builds nicely through each song and a penchant for engaging arrangements, Piqued Jacks serves up an album of compelling commercial rock, that's radio ready and perfect for the large show circuit. This is a band to take notice of and the album is a must have. Watch the video for album track, Eternal Ride of a Heartful Mind, then stream and buy The Living Past at the link below.
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
After two live releases, Chicago's Faux Co. come with their first studio release, the single Set The Record Straight B/W Prozac Superman. The two tracks are jangly indie rock with a bit of a post-punk aesthetic melded to a slight retro vibe, and combined with witty lyrics. These are good songs with a a nice edgy sheen, unfortunately marred a bit by muddy production. Production that tends to blur the individual parts together and takes out the energy, rather than allowing each to stand and build the sound that surely must exist in the tracks. An overall good record that could stand a bit more energy and clarity of sonic being. Stream and buy Set The Record Straight B/W Prozac Superman at the link below.
Greek band, The Fog Ensemble, have released their sophomore album on Inner Ear Records. The seven tracks are an experimental take on instrumental rock music. With an interplay between prog rock and electronica, the album has some nice touches. Unfortunately the heavy fuzzed guitar parts are much too overly repetitious, overshadowing the more interesting melodic elements and giving the whole album a bit of a boring vibe. There are many interesting things going on in these tracks that deserve to be in the foreground where their diversity and depth can engage the listener. As it is the album is worth a listen, but is also not something one will probably want to go back to a second time. Stream and buy Throbs at the link below.
Monday, November 12, 2018
NYC-based group SUM have released their debut S/T album. They have craftily combined the creativity and fusion of nu-jazz, energy of soul, appeal of pop, and lively presentation of funk into one burgeoning bundle for our enjoyment and introspection. This album functions as a true testament to SUM's self-proclaimed mission statement: "to promote freedom of self." SUM manages to present an encouraging message to humanity in an uplifting, get-your-butt-off-that-chair-and-dance kind of way that is sure to change its listeners for the better. Watch the videos below for album tracks It's Alright To Be Me and Sinking Sand, then stream and buy S U M at the link below.
The debut full length Trespasser of FZB favorite Art d'Ecco is available now on Paper Bag Records. As Art tells the backstory behind the album (located on the About > Biography section of his Facebook page), it illuminates the forces at play and explains how this album came into existence, as well as the message he hopes to deliver through it all. Those recollections are deeply touching and connective, and the listener can easily perceive them by the sheer volume of energy flooding out of this album. Paying definite tribute to multiple eras, from 1950s to 1980s and 1990s, this album is unmistakably modern, inventive, and original. The hottest new face in glam rock, party rock, and neo glam, don't miss out on this beautiful work of Art. Watch the video for album track Mary, then stream and buy Trespasser at the links below.
Friday, November 9, 2018
Wild Earp & The Free for Alls have released their first full-length, self-titled, self-produced album - and oh my do they give all the good old boys a run for their money. When you sit down to listen to this album, get ready for a ride - this is an album full of good times, clever lyrics, and licks that'll keep you wanting more. This 10-piece Americana/Country/Rockabilly band based out of Chicago, IL are masters of their craft, somehow simultaneously so classic and so original. They span many genres including rockabilly, jive, sad and sorry old time blues, folk, hoppin' bluegrass, feel-good country, and anything between. These ten original tracks get the good times rollin'. This album is a definite must have. Stream and buy Wild Earp & The Free for Alls at the link below.
Ultra prolific Isle of Man artist/producer Michael Daugherty has released Absence, the latest album under his Nanaki moniker. Absence is the third Nanaki album to be released this year, but whilst the two previous releases had been recorded during the last few years, this one was recorded over the course of 2018. The album finds Daugherty exploring some new equipment for the first time which helped to shape tracks like album centrepiece 'Idiot Mother . . . They Weren't Dead' and the ukulele-driven 'Setsuna'. The album features Nanaki's customary blend of post-rock, shoegaze, post-punk and alternative rock, whilst continuing to explore places only glimpsed on previous releases. Watch the video for album track Astray, then stream and buy Absence ast the link below.
Thursday, November 8, 2018
Greek label Inner Ear Records brings us 2AM, the sophomore album from Athens based Daphne and the Fuzz. the eleven tracks offer up inspired synthpop, with bluesy/jazzy/pop vocals and ingenious instrumentals. The songs are catchy and radio ready, with substantial variety in feel and mood. Imaginative synthesizers and just enough beat to keep things moving along mark this record, that eschews all the current cliched sounds of the genre to deliver an album with taste and originality. Ignoring the modern electronic sheen, one could envision seeing this singer in a smokey SoHo speakeasy. Watch the video for album track Space and Sound, then stream and buy 2AM at the link below.
Following up on his single Coffin Nails (reviewed on FZB last September), NYC artist Mark Sultan has released his new full length, Let Me Out on Dirty Water Records. The thirteen tracks have a strong retro 60s garage band vibe, ala The Standells and Question Mark and The Mysterians. Sultan takes an authentic approach to that sound and delivers it through the interpretation of thoroughly modern songs. This is an album that moves from strength to strength, with catchy tunes, served up simply in an engaging journey into the past of the garage rock artform. Stream and buy Let Me Out.
Wednesday, November 7, 2018
Scottish indie label Bearsuit Records brings us Doll, the debut album from The Moth Poets, aka Billy Gilbert. The eight tracks are a nice original take on indie rock, with a cool post-punk vibe. Stylistically varied, with an abundance of instrumental chops and dark enticing vocals, the album places out like a theatrical production of musical ambition, discovery and accomplishment. This is an album that will serve up new aural nuances with each listen and will hold its appeal through repeated plays. A definite must have. Stream and buy Doll at the link below.
How To Let Go is the new album from Nova Scotia singer/songwriter Kim Barlow. Long a fixture on the Canadian indie folk scene, the thirteen tracks show that Barlow has lost none of her creative prowess. The album rewards the listener with wonderfully diverse songs, that explore the intersection between traditional and progressive folk in a way that envelops the listener in a sonic landscape deep in aural influences, musical nuance and imagination. Barlow delivers an album that is a testament to the continual relevancy of folk as an artform. This album is a definite must have. Stream and buy How To let Go at the link below.
Tuesday, November 6, 2018
Losing Form is the third album from North Carolina's Polly Panic, aka Jenette Mackie (Rasputina). The ten tracks feature Jenette's totally compelling rock cello work and dark enticing vocals. This is an album that is all about musical depth and originality. Jenette's vocals are edgy and packed with emotion, while her cello groans and cries, with a heavy and sultry vibe that tears at one's insides like a jilted lover. Taken together the listener will find themselves willingly crashing onto this siren's sonic rocks. This album is an absolute must have. Watch the video for the title track, then stream and buy Losing Form at the link below.
In Support Of 5ame Dude Vol.3 is an EP in the series from artist Alex Ebert. Consisting of five tracks recorded in 2011, the EP is a shoegazy excursion into some smart music. featuring stylistic depth and highly interesting arrangements. The EP stands as an accomplished work both vocally and instrumentally. Which then begs the question, is this artist all about past accomplishments or is there new music coming to enjoy. This is no small question. As good as these tracks are, as statements on the past, they are destined to obscurity. This is an obviously gifted artist and one who should be delivering new music to build what would surely be a large fan base. Stream and buy In Support Of 5ame Dude Vol. 3 at the link below.
Monday, November 5, 2018
Rude Redux is the sophomore EP from London electronic maestros Rude Audio. the four original tracks and one remix bring a wonderful originality to the intersection of dub, house and EDM. With a sound inhabiting a lower BPM range that is coming into vogue in the London dance club scene, the EP offers up a wide original ensemble of sounds, moods and character. Engaging minimalist beats and compelling melodies are the order of the days on an EP that is a superlative example of how much room for innovation there can still be in electronic music. This is an absolute must have. Watch the video for EP track To The Sun, then stream and buy Rude Redux at the link below.
Dreamers & Runaways is the fourth album from Los Angeles band Sci-Fi Romance. The ten tracks are rich progressive folk, with vocals reminiscent of Crash Test Dummies. The album is sharp and stylish, with imaginative lyrical depth and engaging arrangements. Unlike much of current indie folk, the album is unpretentious, with an authenticity in its sonic vibe and a bit of a moody dark presence. As a whole the album is a compelling listen that will draw one back to delve into its variety and aesthetic. This record is strong from start to finish and a definite must have. Stream and buy Dreamers & Runaways at the link below.
Friday, November 2, 2018
Irish Sea Lovers is the new single from Virginia artists Box Of Moxie, aka Stephen Jacques and Alan Weatherhead. The track is a Dylanesque tale that inhabits a space between folk and pop. The piece is adult contemporary radio ready, with a smooth vibe, nice melody and an interesting theme. That said, the song would be better served as an album track rather than a single, as its overall vibe is low energy and it is a bit lackluster in terms of a compelling engagement with the listener. A nice track overall and definitely one to listen to, but also one not likely to find itself on repeat. Stream and buy Irish Sea Lovers at the link below.
Burn Out For For Love is the new 7" from UK harcore punk auters, The Cavemen, on Dirty Water Records. The two tracks are everything one has come to expect from this band, fast, in your face, take no prisoners punk rock. This is music for those that appreciate bands with a pure, authentic punk ethos. These two tracks are edgy enough to slash tires and as raw a crotch rash. Loud, live and meant to turn up and offend the old lady down the hall. Also, an absolute must have. Stream and buy Burn Out For Love at the link below.
Thursday, November 1, 2018
Foul is the sophomore album from Philadelphia band, Don Babylon. The ten tracks are stylish garage rock that stands with the best this genre has to offer. The band delivers an album that covers the rock bases from Cheap Trick, to The Clash, to Growlers, to Stray Cats. Yes that's a lot of ground, and Don Babylon serves it up effortlessly, never forgetting to rock the listeners arse off. In this age of themes, memes, one song attentions spans and an abundance of commercial drivel, this is an album that restores one's faith in rock as an artform. This album works on every level and is a definite must have. Watch the video for album track, Really Fast Cars, then stream and buy Foul at the link below.
Someday Cowboy is the debut album from Edmonton group, Baby Jey. The nine tracks are smart pop music, with a radio ready sheen. The songs are catchy and show a bit of stylistic depth, with strong vocals and harmonies. Instrumentally, the piano and bass shine from the rest of the instrumentation, though the synths are mostly worn out cliched sounds. The album is highly polished which both adds to its sound, but also leaves it lacking of real energy. This is a well crafted record, with a pop sound that is tried and true, easy to listen to and thoroughly enjoyable. At the same time though, it lacks a sonic vibe that really engages the listener. Stream and buy Someday Cowboy at the link below.