Monday, 18 June 2018

Commander Salamander


Commander Salamander are a three-piece band from Washington, DC that (presumably) formed in 2017. I don't even know where to start with this band. They're kinda punk, kinda screamo, kinda emo, kind of all of the above and kind of none of the above. Either way, they're a good time with an awesome sound & energy. They dropped a solid EP last year, which poses the age old question "what the fuck rhymes with Fugazi?" and have their debut full-length due out this month. Based on the two promo tracks they've dropped, it's safe to say it'll knock some socks off. Enjoy.

1. Skeletor's Revenge
2. Lord, Beer Me Strength
3. Really Expensive Toss
4. Yr Not Ramona Flowers, Yr Knives Chau
5. Its Mario Kart, Not Mario Cart
6. Gross October

1. Lord Beer Me Strength (Live)
2. Really Expensive Toss (Live)
3. Mario Kart (Live)
4. Gross October (Live)
5. Ramona//Knives (Live)

1. Pamela
2. Skramton, PA

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Just Friends


Just Friends are a 10-piece punk/funk band from California that formed in 2013. Thus far, they've dropped an EP and a very recent full-length of catchy, energetic punk, complete with brass instrumentation, funky riffs, and touches of jazz and R&B. They find a middle ground between Bomb The Music Industry! and early Red Hot Chili Peppers, with a definite emo influence coming through. It's definitely a unique sound, with a collective feel-good vibe. Their debut full-length, Nothing But Love was just released by Counter Intuitive. It features an eclectic mix of tracks, with some immediate standouts such as "Never Gonna Bring You Down", "I Wanna Love You", "Sick Of It All", and "Worry". It's an incredible album, and absolutely recommended. Enjoy.

1. Shots Fired
2. Ryerson
3. Welcome Mats
4. Move 2 Miami
5. Bad Weather II
6. Graduate
7. Paint
8. Normal Me
9. Home Forever
10. Dublin, CA

1. Bang My Line
2. Nothing But Love
3. Keep Up

1. 1-800-CHOP-CITY
2. Never Gonna Bring You Down
3. Keep Up
4. Supersonic
5. Flex
6. I Wanna Love You
7. 107.7 KJFC
8. Get Down (feat. Caliph)
9. Nothing But Love
10. Sick Of It All
11. Bang My Line II
12. Faucet
13. Worry

Saturday, 9 June 2018

The Cardboard Swords


The Cardboard Swords are a four-piece indie/emo band from Grand Rapids, Michigan that formed in 2014. A year later, they signed to Count Your Lucky Stars and released a 4-way split and their debut LP with the label. Fast-forward to 2018, and they're back with their sophomore LP, Once More, There Is Nothing Left To Figure Out. The Cardboard Swords play an interesting blend of indie and emo, featuring clean guitars, personal lyrics, and melancholic pop melodies. Fans of a variety of bands, including Marietta, Mom Jeans., The Front Bottoms, Grown Ups, Free Throw and Manchester Orchestra will definitely see the appeal in this band. Enjoy.

1. (S)He Said
2. Nickels
3. Cardigan
4. Flannel (Spoken Word)
5. Remnants Of My Garden

1. Dowsing - Cutoff (Blades, Blades, Blades, & Even More Blades)
2. The Cardboard Swords - How I Met Your Dragon Mother
3. Long Knives - Thaw
4. Sinai Vessels - I Quit The Choir

1. (S)He Said
2. Brian's Song
3. Flannel
4. Exit 47A
5. Cardigan
6. Your Dad Is Kirk Hammett?
7. A Year From Now
8. Nickels
9. I Swear I'm Usually Pretty Good At This
10. Remnants

1. (S)He Said
2. Flannel
3. How I Met Your Dragon Mother
4. Bloody Nose
5. Brian's Song
6. Cardigan

1. I Don't Wanna
2. Disposable
3. I Admit
4. Worse Moments
5. Bloody Nose
6. Odd Dates
7. Hell No
8. BrekFEST
9. Rejuvenation

Rained In

Rained In are a five-piece hardcore band from Boston, Massachusetts that formed in 2018. They put out a 5-track demo a few months back. The band was formed by members of Vanna and Cruel Hand, with Derek from Defeater on vocals, who sounds absolutely vicious here. Sonically, they don't really sound like an exact replica of any of their projects, they're more in the vein of Blacklisted, or something like that. Either way, this demo rips, and hopefully we'll be getting more material from them soon. Enjoy.

1. Love Sick
2. AM Gold
3. Loose Ends
4. Call It In The Air
5. Coil

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Inside Out


Inside Out were a four-piece straight edge hardcore punk band from Orange County, California that formed in 1988 and broke up in 1991. They only released one EP, No Spiritual Surrender, which came out in 1990 on Revelation Records. The original vinyl release contained only four tracks, but subsequent CD and cassette releases contained two extra tracks ("Sacrifice" and "Redemption"). Though definitely a hardcore punk band at heart, they also contained some elements of crossover trash influence, thus the often-cited comparisons to bands like D.R.I. or Sick Of It All.

Perhaps what's most discussed about Inside Out (besides their phenomenal EP) is its alumni. Most notably, their vocalist was Zach de la Rocha of Rage Against The Machine. Funnily enough, the name of the next Inside Out album was supposed to be Rage Against The Machine, but they broke up before that could ever happen. Thus, the name was used for his new band, which formed immediately after. Additionally, Inside Out's guitarist was Vic DiCara, best known for his work with legends such as 108, Beyond, Burn, and Shelter. The band also shared members with a laundry list of other bands, including Chain Of Strength, Gorilla Biscuits, Justice League, Wool, Smile, Pitchfork, Hardstance, and Forced Down, among others. This is definitely an essential hardcore release, so get on it. Enjoy.

1. Burning Fight
2. Undertone
3. By A Thread
4. No Spiritual Surrender
5. Sacrifice
6. Redemption

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Kid, Feral


Kid, Feral are a three-piece screamo band from Skövde, Sweden that formed in 2016. Thus far, they've released a demo and a semi-recent LP, put out by two incredible labels (Emo Cat Records and Dog Knights Production, respectively). They play with an incredible mesh of sounds, including shimmering guitar tones, distorted bass lines, chaotic rhythms, and visceral, piercing vocal screams, mixed in with experimental interludes to break up the skramz party.

Their debut full-length, Live and Let's Die! is a must-listen for screamo fans in 2018, this is definitely one of the most varied and exciting releases in recent history. Also, as OMSB pointed out, the Billy Werner/Saetia comparison in the vocal delivery is uncanny, which is certainly high praise. Highly recommended. Enjoy.

1. Like it or not, we're the only game in town
2. Blue eyes white dragon (I'll close my eyes and imagine)

Note: Cassette available from Emo Cat Records here

1. So Much Money in the $kramz Game
2. Sensory Overload in the Afterclass Bathroom
3. Permanently Stuck in Small Town Limbo
4. Where You End Up Is Not Who You Are
5. This System Is a Bunch of Baloney
6. Listen Up You Nazi Fucks
7. Firedragon3651 Logs Out for Good
8. The Smallest of Intermissions
9. Quit Without Saving? (Y/N)

Note: Vinyl available from Dog Knights Productions here: EUINTL

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Downcast


Downcast were a four-piece hardcore band from Goleta, California that were around in the early 90's (unclear exactly what years). They played a riff-heavy intensive style of hardcore similar to contemporaries such as Inside Out and Struggle. They also contained elements of metallic hardcore, particularly in the riffs and throat-burning vocals. Downcast were one of the earliest bands on the legendary Ebullition Records, with their 7" being the label's first release ever, and their LP followed soon after. Enjoy.

1. Hate Comes Easy
2. Schedule
3. Lie
4. Force

1. Everything
2. See
3. They Are Not
4. Lie
5. Schedule
6. Paradox
7. From You And Me

1. System
2. De-Recognized
3. Paradox
4. From You And Me
5. In This Land
6. Grace
7. They Are Not
8. See
9. Privilege
10. Hope

Monday, 4 June 2018

Formerly Bodies


Formerly Bodies is an indie project created by singer-songwriter Hannah Weir, from Lansing, Michigan. She's only put out one EP thus far, but the three tracks on it are nothing short of incredible. Sonically, they are very ambient and haunting, featuring slow, reverb-soaked chords and arpeggios accompanying her vocals. It can definitely draw strong comparisons to Julien Baker, both for the incredible songwriting talent and the somber atmosphere created. Definitely recommended. Enjoy.

1. Mind Games
2. Comfy Cozy Song
3. First of May

Sunday, 3 June 2018

Bearings


I know I've been neglecting the pop punk fans on here, so here's a decent one for ya. Bearings are a four-piece pop punk band from Ottawa, Ontario that have been around since 2014. They play a brand of pop punk that fans of bands like Seaway and Knuckle Puck will undoubtedly dug. They're currently signed to Pure Noise, and have their debut full-length coming out later this year. Enjoy.

1. Constant State
2. Up All Night
3. Secret's Safe
4. Dead Weight
5. Hollow

1. Indecision
2. What's Best For You...
3. Absent

1. Petrichor
2. Spent
3. Letters Home
4. North Hansen
5. Makeshift

Saturday, 2 June 2018

The Guiding Wave


The Guiding Wave are a four-piece post-punk band from Boston, Massachusetts that formed in 2016. They share members with Youth Funeral and Fiddlehead. They play a dark, harsh style of post-punk that features thick, distorted, rhythmic bass lines, tight-knit drumming, and sharp guitar parts, like a noisier Gang of Four or Joy Division. Vocally, they are moaning and visceral, fans of bands like Iceage will definitely love the charismatic chaos that The Guiding Wave create. Their latest EP, To Dance Around Love is incredibly solid, and highly recommended. Enjoy.

1. Little Voice
2. Heartbeaten
3. Confused
4. Separation
5. Hold My Hand

1. Instrument
2. With The Birds
3. Amnesia
4. Every Last Love
5. Rose

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

die Hoffnung

die Hoffnung are a Gainesville, Florida band formed by brothers Jim Marburger and Jon Marburger. Those names might be familiar to you, since they were previously in bands such as Burnman and the legendary I Hate Myself, a band whose legacy has been cemented in punk/emo history. Luckily for us, they didn't stop there. In 2005, they came together again under a new moniker, which is where die Hoffnung begins. This resulted in their debut LP, Love Songs which was released in 2006. The band crafts a unique sound on this record, featuring some angular guitar work and dynamic drumming. They keep most songs under the three minute mark, with a mathcore-influenced discordance and shouted vocals. In terms of influence, they take from the greats such as The Jesus Lizard, Shellac, and Bastro, as well as Codeine, Red House Painters, and Low for their slower material.  Love Songs is a solid LP that displays some impressive musicianship and well-crafted songs with a lot of energy and a good degree of experimentation.

The project remained relatively quiet post-Love Songs, until the brothers were joined by 2nd guitarist Travis Fristoe, who was previously in Moonraker, True Feedback Story, and Reactionary 3. The three-piece got together in 2012 for the recording of their sophomore album. What was spawned from these sessions is Elegies and Creation Songs, the long-awaited follow-up to their debut. Unfortunately, this album was not released for a few years, and in that time Travis sadly took his own life (RIP). Initially, it was going to released by Travis on his label Obscurist Press. Finally, the album say the light of day after Jason (of Palatka) released it on his own label, Belladonna Records.

Elegies and Creation Songs is an incredible album, that fans of experimental post-hardcore (or even post-punk) would definitely take interest in. It features an eclectic mix of tracks, including drawn out, slow burning rises and falls as seen in "The Passion of the Big Baby Jesus" and "Elegy For Bob Ross", as well as fast-paced, sharp, hard-hitting post-hardcore tracks such as "Horses On Fire" and "In Flower, In Song". I also have to give a specific shoutout to "Elegy for Ned", it's a little different than the other tracks on here (probably the most "emo"), but a definite highlight.  Just like their previous project, die Hoffnung are absolute masters of the loud/quiet dynamic, and can let it out just as much as they can pull it back. Many songs include stream of conscious lyrics delivered by semi-spoken semi-screamed vocals. The band burns through these songs with an undeniable chemistry, and the result is an incredible album that I am both happy and lucky to finally hear. I highly, highly recommend checking out both their full-lengths, which are available below, and if you are interested, you can pick up the LP of Elegies and Creation Songs from Belladonna Records, which is linked below. Enjoy.

1. Lovemonger
2. Santa Teresa en Fuego
3. Der Autounfull
4. Olga the Contortionist vs. Harry Houdini
5. I Was Born A Long Time Ago
6. Ahab Welcome To Hell
7. Stonecutter
8. Colditz
9. With The Fishes
10. Orpheus In His Underwear
11. Lady, Killer
12. Tour Of Bridges

1. Elegy for Bob Ross
2. Horses on Fire
3. The Passion of The Big Baby Jesus
4. Embedded Reporter
5. Other People's Pets
6. Elegy For Ned
7. The Creation of Wealth
8. In Flower, In Song
9. Pullman

Friday, 25 May 2018

Retirement Party


Retirement Party are a three-piece emo/indie/punk from Chicago, Illinois that formed in 2016. Their debut EP, Strictly Speaking came out early last year, and has garnered a ton of attention since then. They play an energetic style of pop punk similar to bands like P.S. Eliot, with upbeat instrumentals and dense lyrics (incredible ones at that, be sure to check them out). Since then, they've joined the already-impressive Counter Intuitive Records roster for their debut LP, Somewhat Literate, which was officially released today. Upon first listen, they've come through with an amazing batch of songs, with some heavier, technical guitar work than their clean emo debut. Retirement Party have an incredible energy, with some exceptional vocals and lyrics. Somewhat Literate came out at the perfect time, and will definitely be getting multiple spins this summer. If high-octane, wordy pop punk sounds appealing, check this band out. Enjoy.

1. My Chapstick Melted In The Dryer
2. Hall Beach
3. Men's Volleyball
4. Meet Me In Montauk
5. Conclusions

1. That's How People Die
2. Scene 48
3. Shoulder It
4. Passion Fruit Tea
5. Truck Stop Casino
6. Are You My Mother?
7. Take Your Vitamins
8. Grand Am
9. The Big Boom
10. Jericho
11. Seams

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Crowning


Crowning are a five-piece screamo band from Chicago, Illinois that formed in 2016. They play a dark and chaotic brand of screamo in the vein of other incredible bands such as Loma Prieta, Ampere, and Ittō. Their debut five-track EP Funeral Designs was put out last year, and is an absolute crusher of a release. Their follow-up, a new split with Swallows Nest cements their place as one of the best fucking screamo bands around now. All three of these tracks hit immensely hard, with screams coming from every angle courtesy of their multiple vocalists. This split is highly, highly recommended, for both Crowning's crowning achievement of a side, as well as the immense track that New Zealand's Swallows Nest burns through. Undoubtedly this split will be a screamo highlight of the year, so get on it. Enjoy.

1. Funeral Designs
2. Velleity
3. Swivet
4. Exposure
5. Buddy Dwyer

Note: Grab the cassette from Zegema Beach here

1. Crowning - Coil
2. Crowning - Old References
3. Crowning - Nerve
4. Swallows Nest - A Subtle Knife For New Doors

Note: 7" EP available from Zegema Beach here

Crowning

Swallow's Nest

Tower of Silence


Tower of Silence were a four-piece screamo band from Toronto that started in March and ended in April 2018. This project was conceptualized as a four-piece one-off project that can be best described as a "skramz supergroup", if such a thing ever did exist. It included members of Respire, Foxmoulder, Terry Green, Polina, Seeing Means More, and Fight Fair. They only played one show, and recorded and released one EP. Considering its quick assembly, these three tracks are incredibly solid pieces of dark, screamy hardcore that brings to mind Portraits Of Past (for some reason). Definitely recommended if you're a fan its members other (amazing) projects. Enjoy.

1. October and Her
2. Parade Me Through The City
3. A Long Passage

Note: You can pick up the limited cassette from Mount Seldom Records here

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Michael Cera Palin


Michael Cera Palin are a three-piece indie/emo/punk band from Atlanta, Georgia that formed in 2015. They're currently 2 EP's deep, and their latest one, "I Don't Know How To Explain It" is spreading like syrup on pancakes, and is just as sweet. They play an uptempo style of emo with a pop punk tinge, making for some energetic tunes (the perfect kind to shout despondent lyrics to). Throw in some occasional Kinsella-twinkle extravaganza, gang vocals, driving drumbeats, and a Sheryl Crow cover, and you've got one hell of an EP. Not to mention "Portrait of a Man on a Couch with Cats" is heavenly. To get an idea of their sound, you could make vague comparisons to Remo Drive, Modern Baseball and Mom Jeans., or something like that. Enjoy.

1. Intro
2. Growing Pains
3. Boots N Cats
4. Mystery
5. Laughing Makes It Worse

1. Admiral Lazercock (Live & Unfinished)
2. Laughing Makes It Worse (Live)
3. Southern Comfort (Live)
4. If It Makes You Happy (Sheryl Crow cover)
5. Boots N Cats (Live)
6. Growing Pains (Live)

1. Portrait of a Man on a Couch With Cats
2. Southern Comfort
3. If It Makes You Happy
4. Admiral
5. Go Home. Play Music. Feel Better.

Friday, 18 May 2018

No Right


No Right are a four-piece hardcore band from San Fransisco, California that have been around since 2016. They're a straight edge band that play a ferocious style of hardcore with a slight metalcore influence. They incorporate down-tuned, chugging riffs with shots of dissonance and complex rhythms into their mosh-friendly aggression machine. The vocals are throat-shredding and vicious, while keeping the lyrics discernible. Their debut EP Unjustified dropped early this year, and they absolutely kill it from start to finish. Definitely be on the look out for this band. Enjoy.

1. No Right

1. unjustified
2. symbolic annihilation
3. spitting image
4. no right
5. (un)conditional
6. proof