Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Single Mothers

Single Mothers are a 5-piece punk/post-hardcore/indie? band from London, Ontario (Canada) who have been around since 2009. They've been garnering a lot of attention lately, partially because of their affiliation with Secret Voices (Jeremy Bolm's [Touché Amoré] label, they're the first band he signed), but mostly because of how fucking badass they are. They recently played Sound & Fury and they're going to be touring with Title Fight and Pianos Become The Teeth later this year (Get stoked).

Single Mothers are a very interesting band. They've got the energy and attitude of punk/hardcore in excess, and are able to apply that to both melodic and aggressive sounds. They can entwine frenzied, pummelling assaults with melodic lines and everything in between. They're quite ambitious, integrating classic rock riffs, dark acoustic guitar parts, and reverb-laden tones, to name a few. Yet they don't seem to be unnecessarily straying from their core sound. It just works, all the while being backed by some tight bass and drumming. Another integral and defining aspect of their sound is vocalist and presumably lyricist Andrew Thomson. His vocals are gruff and often teeter between speaking and singing. His delivery/phrasing/lyrical style is insanely reminiscent of Craig Finn (The Hold Steady). He's also like an anthemic, catchy, and aggressive Dan Smith (Listener) or Aaron Weiss (mewithoutYou). If you can imagine those guys spitting in your face, that kind of sums him up. Instead of whining about wooden hearts and seatbelt hands or poorly-knit sweaters, foxes, and spiders, he goes for topics ranging from girls, to drinking, to drunk girls (I'm only semi-joking here). As stupid as that may sound, he conveys them in a strangely honest and well-written way. I'd suggest reading them for yourself, they're quite good. I'd suggest just listening to this band, they're fucking great. Voilà:

1. Nice Dresses
2. Runaways
3. Heaven (For The Weekend)
4. Motorbikes And Epitaphs

Note: This was remixed and remastered in 2012. I have the original mixes too if you're interested in them.

1. Christian Girls
2. Hell (Is My Backup Plan)
3. Winter Coats
4. Baby

1. Overdose
2. Marbles
3. Womb
4. Half-Lit
5. Feel Shame
6. Crooks
7. Patricide
8. Ketamine
9. Blood Pressure
10. Money

1. Meltdown
2. City slicker
3. Idiomatic
4. Everybody cool
5. Slow reader

1. East Van Band Van
2. Night School

1. Undercover
2. High Speed
3. Long Distance
4. A-Ok
5. People Are Pets
6. Bile
7. Leash
8. Well-Wisher
9. Rollercoaster
10. Bolt Cutters

1. Skylight
2. Army Green

1. Marathon
2. 24/7
3. Dog Parks
4. Switch Off
5. Catch & Release
6. Engine
7. Stoic Pointless
8. Web
9. Across The The Couch
10. Big Scar
11. -
12. Tan Line (Like Passing Through A Wall)
13. Signs
14. Evidence Locker

1. Metropolis

1. Cancer Bats - Dog Parks / Switch Off (Single Mothers cover)
2. Single Mothers - Road Sick (Cancer Bats cover)

1. Nihilist Headlights

1. Turbulence

1. Enough For You
2. Nausea
3. O-Zone
4. Throw
5. Soak
6. Baby Bird
7. Things
8. Too Many Choices
9. Anytime Anything

1. Head Shrunk
2. Sad Dumb Game
3. Lottery
4. Quincy
5. (Moonlight) On Sunset
6. James Gandolfini
7. Inquisitor
8. Airsick
9. Roy
10. Forest Fire


Single Dads

So this is a band request, but I am really, really enjoying this. I highly recommend you check it out,  this band is great. Unfortunately, they went on hiatus last month. But still, good band.

"Single Dads is a math rock turned emo revival(ish) band fronted by songwriter Aaron Dawson. This three piece from Morgantown, WV formed in 2010. Its influences include Braid, Tigers Jaw and The Dismemberment Plan. Includes members from Its BirdsRussian Tombstones, and Koko Sing (all WV ensembles) [If I, Kevin, may briefly interject, I quickly checked them all out. They all sounded good, I'll definitely be revisiting them when I can. Koko Sing, in particular. But enough about that, the focus is on the awesome band Single Dads here. Though it appears that I wrote just as much about the affiliated projects than the band did about themselves]".


Crywank is the god of sad songs. Crywank (James Clayton) is from Manchester (I think), and has been crywanking since 2009. To date, he's put out three albums and a handful of demos.

Crywank is one of a kind. Truly unique. There's a fair bit of folk-punk influence (from the likes of Andrew Jackson Jihad and Paul Baribeau) and a hint of The Smiths, but neither is really defining. Crywank began as the result of the end of a relationship Mr. Clayton was in. This spawned the songs on his first album (though some also appear on a demo prior to it), James Is Going To Die Soon. This is the audio embodiment of the morning after a break-up: hungover, empty, and in deep contemplation. But still more than that. I don't know what I'm saying anymore. New direction. Whether or not James knew how to play guitar before this is irrelevant. He's banging the shit out of an out-of-tune, cheap-as-hell acoustic guitar, and barely forming coherent chords half the time. Instead, he's hitting a ton of muted strings while trying to play a few notes (though he does let the occasional clear chord slip out, especially during quieter parts) while playing what sounds like some folk-y strumming patterns, if the person playing them has no idea how to play. And all of this is beautiful. And of course, the vocals. They can go from strained and screamed to sung and remorseful, and anywhere in between. His vocal skills are not that much better than his guitar skills, yet they work. It all works, and is coated in an air of introspection. This is due in part to the lyrics, some of the best beautiful ever. They are not laced with fancy wordings or elaborate descriptions and observations. They do not consist of flowery language or impeccable flow. They don't need to. They're as blunt as can be, and are absolutely piercing to the mind, body, heart, and soul. It's like having all your insides laid out in front of you. So revealing, and sadly relatable.

He posted I Daren't Call This Stoner on his blog last year (2011) with this captioned: "Me Ric and Tom got high and recorded some songs together a while back. I’ve finally split them apart and uploaded them. This isn’t a new album so sorry if this gets your hopes up, it’s literally just me pretty blazed singing some covers and a couple of new songs and talking inbetween some tracks. There’s spaces between the tracks which there shouldn’t be as some run into each other and the recording quality is pretty poor but you may enjoy it. We originally intended to release the whole recording with the larger conversations between tracks but a lot of it ended up not making sense unless you know us… and it’s pretty lame at points as well!"

Narcissist On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown is Crywank's second album (not counting the demo). It was released in 2012. On this album, it's clear that James' technical skills have increased profoundly (though they still are far from perfect). However, that does not take away from the magic of Crywank. This album is still heart shattering, but in a different way. For one, it's more somber. It's not as aggressive in terms of playing (there's more fingerpicking and light strumming than string bashing) and singing (he actual sings as opposed to howling). The lyrics do not focus on a specific topic, but rather a more broad one, and that is the self. Lyrically, the immediate "open wound" thing going on on his previous album has shifted to the long-term dwelling on the things being discussed, providing a different perspective, one that's very introspective. I suppose. I'm not really sure why I'm attempt to analyse and provide descriptions of his stuff. Nobody reads this anyway, right? And this stuff is amazing, what more needs to be said? Download away.

The Tour Demos 2013 info taken from his Bandcamp: These are the tour demos for the January Crywank tour. They are also the first recordings with Crywanks new member Dan 'The Snail' Watson. It features songs from the upcoming third album and new recordings of older songs with percussion. All money from this release will go towards future tours in 2013 and recording the new album :)

1. Welcome To Castle Irwell
2. Harvey Milk Shit On The Table
3. Thomas Saunders Gang Chant
4. Zains, Cam4, Wah-Wah And Sirens
5. Welcome To Castle Irwell (Live To Curious & Drunk Neighbours)

1. Welcome To Castle Irwell
2. You Won't Meet A Girl Sat In Your Room Listening To Music (But Some Songs Can Still Give You Butterflies)
3. Pope Alexander
4. 18
5. Hikkomori
6. An Intimate Message
7. Late Night People Watching
8. Harvey Milk Shit On The Table
9. Zains, Cam4, Wah-Wah And Sirens
10. Thomas Saunders Gang Chant

1. Welcome To Castle Eughggughghgughg
2. Talking 1
3. I Dance To Trance In Garbage Pants (Daggermouth)
4. Talking 2
5. Thomas Saunders Lloyd Weber
6. Talking 3
7. Youreyeah (Title Fight)
8. Little Creepy
9. Ms Jackson (Outkast)
10. Talking 4
11. Break Stuff (Limp Bizkit)
12. Talking 5
13. Graph Paper (Algorhythms)
14. Talking 6
15. Not The Story So Far
16. Talking 7
17. The Story So Far (New Found Glory)

1. Blink
2. Now I'm Sad (Boo Hoo)
3. Little Creepy
4. Thomas Saunders Lloyd Weber
5. Care Not For Your Clubnights
6. Nostril Tampon
7. The Only Way I Could Save Myself Now Is If I Start Firebombing
8. Chuck & Buck, Suck & Fuck!
9. It's OK, I Wouldn't Remember Me Either
10. Deep Down I'm Really Kirk Van Houten
11. You Couldn't Teach Me Integrity

Tour Demos 2013 (2013)
1. Waste/I Am A Familiar Creak In Your Floorboards
2. Only Everyone Can Judge Me
3. An Intimate Message
4. Chuck & Buck, Suck & Fuck!
5. GB Eating GB While Listening To GB
6. Hikkomori
7. Memento Mori
8. I'm A Cliché
9. Pope Alexander
10. Notches
11. Privately Owned Spiral Galaxy

1. Memento Mori
2. Song For A Guilty Sadist
3. If I Were You I'd Be Throwing Up
4. Notches
5. Crywank Are Posers
6. Obsessive Muso With No Friends
7. “Who is Thomas Saunders and why is he significant in your writings?”
8. Only Everyone Can Judge Me
9. GB Eating GB Whilst Listening To GB
10. Deep Down I'm American Werewolf
11. Waste
12. I am A Familiar Creak In Your Floorboards
13. Do You Have PPE For Self-Esteem?
14. This Song Title Was Too Long (So Now It's Shorter)
15. Leech Boy
16. I Am Shit
17. I'm A Cliché
18. Just A Snail

1. Love
2. Nostril Tampon
3. We Don't Practice
4. Olivers Theme
5. Paperclip
6. Coffee and Blunts

1. I Am A Familiar Creek In Your Floorboards
2. Is That Crazy Enough For Ya'? Want Me To Take A Shit On The Floor?
3. I Don't Know About What Happened... (Because Once You Start Writing It All Becomes Fiction)
4. Welcome To Castle Irwell (Demo)
5. Zains, Cam4, Wah-Wah and Sirens (Demo)
6. Pope Alexander (Demo)
7. Lepidopterophobia
8. Hikikomori (Demo)
9. 18 (Demo)
10. Thomas Saunders Gangchant (Demo)
11. Blur
12. I Am A Familiar Creak In Your Floorboard (Demo)
13. Drunk & Lonely On A Sofabed
14. Thomas Saunders Lloyd Webber (Demo)
15. Coffee & Blunts (Demo)
16. Lepidopterophobia (Demo)

1. Forlorn Leghorn
2. Squeezing The Damp Tea Towel To Its Final Drips
3. There All Is Aching
4. I Am In Great Pain, Please Help Me
5. Love
6. A Deer Mistaking Candles For Headlights
7. Me Me Me (Boo Hoo)
8. Hate
9. Your Own Worst Enemy Critic
10. Self(ish)
11. Baby Self-Absorbed
12. Falling Down A Hole

1. A Soreness So Familiar It Soon Becomes Unquestioned
2. Part 2: Electric Boogaloo
3. When You Eat Yourself, First Start With Your Head Up Your Arse
4. Woodchuck
5. Who Am I???1
6. Everything Is Getting Very Snake 2
7. Colm Hindsight
8. A Phony in a World of Holden Caulfields
9. (Onion) Garden Fart (Onion)
10. Tin Foil Hat Crew At The Student House Party
11. Chomsky-Honk
12. Goku Is Cool
13. Don't Forget To Like Share and Subscribe
14. I Think I’m Dying and I’m Doing Nothing About It
15. Anti-capitalism Is A Great Marketing Technique
16. Thoughts on Self-Described DIY Bands Engaging With A Profit-Based Print Media
17. An Academics Lament On Barbie
18. Fuck You Dan
19. Fuck You James
20. Pr8y Boi
21. Life Is Life and That’s So Deep
22. Roll-on Deoderant
23. Story of the Lizard and the Sock

Note: You can grab the cassette from Mount Seldom Records here

The Caulfield Cult

This is great stuff. Definitely check it out if you're into the bands mentioned.

"We're a band from Singapore, we played our first show in June 2011, self-released an ep the same month and a full length album on 29th October 2011. We've toured South East Asia extensively in 2011 and we toured the UK in march/april 2012, having played some shows with Carridale (Panic Records). We're influenced by bands such as Alkaline Trio, Weezer, Hot Water Music, Samiam and The Get Up Kids."

1. White Pills
2. Withdrawal Symptoms
3. Everyone But Me
4. Sundown
5. Burden
6. Leaving Cemetery Junction
7. The Black Plague
8. Gunther
9. Another Ballad
10. Temporary Homes
11. Im Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today


Monday, 20 August 2012

Joyce Manor

Joyce Manor are the epitome of good music, the pinnacle of sound waves everywhere. These guys are a four-piece pop-punk band from Torrance, California who do everything right. They're catchy as hell, fun, and energetic while still being original and evading redundancy. Lyrically, they're relatable and well-written. Musically, they're tight and well-rounded. They've got a very distinct sound without stereotypes, blandness, or replicas. Their influences could include Jawbreaker, Descendents, Weezer, even Thin Lizzy and The Smiths. Yet they don't sound like direct rip-offs of any of them. It's cool.

Currently they're signed to Asian Man Records (though they were previously on 6131) and have 2 demos, 1 EP, 2 splits, 2 full-lengths, and 1 compilation to their name, all of which are below. I don't know what else to say. They're just a fucking awesome band, easily one of my favourites around now, if not ever. They kick ass live too, I've seen them twice and they were both easily two of the most fun and exciting shows I've ever been to. I think they're one of those bands that everyone can love, and everyone who hears them does, no matter what they're into. These guys are just that good, but I'm sure you already know that (or are about to find out). Anyway, no need to drag this on. It's best to keep it short like a Joyce Manor song. Yeah.

1. Stir Crazy
2. Fuck Koalacaust
3. Housewarming Party
4. Party To End All Parties

This is their first release, a demo put out in 2009. I don't have any artwork for it unfortunately. These songs are done primarily with an acoustic guitar, though an electric is used as well. There's drums too, and I'm not sure if there's bass or not. If so, it's not very audible. "Stir Crazy" is a very early version of "Ashtray Petting Zoo" from their self-titled. This song would also appear on Ew Gross under this same name. Four great jams on here. They're indicative of where they're going while still holding up on their own.

Ew Gross (2009)
1. Chumped On A Bus
2. Derailed
3. Dry Heat
4. Do Fish Have Periods?
5. I Know Why
6. James
7. Shortout Socket
8. Stir Crazy

This is a demo/EP also put out in 2009. I can't find artwork for this one either. It's got early versions of "Chumped" ("Chumped On A Bus"), "Derailed" ("Derailed"), "DFHP?" ("Do Fish Have Periods?"), and "Ashtray Petting Zoo" ("Stir Crazy"). The rest are exclusive to this, and they too are great.

 1. Constant Nothing
2. Done Right Discount Flooring
3. Five Beer Plan
4. Chumped
5. Leather Jacket

This might be the first official release, but I'm not sure of that. It's a huge jump from their previous demos, despite only being put out a year later. Perhaps it's the recording quality, but it really sounds like they've honed in and locked down their sound and songwriting abilities. It sounds more like the band that would put out the subsequent albums, whereas the demos are more indicative of this and sound like a band just getting together. But I suppose that's what they are. They're great of course, I don't mean to put them down, but this is when they really began to get good, I think. "Constant Nothing" and "Leather Jacket" were re-recorded for their self-titled album.

1. Summer Vacation - Super Orgy
2. Summer Vacation - Don't Panic
3. Summer Vacation - The Many Faces Of Mental Chillness
4. Joyce Manor - Holiday Heart
5. Joyce Manor - DFHP?
6. Joyce Manor - My Elise

This is their 2010 split with fellow So-Cal punk band Summer Vacation. They're awesome as well. They contributed three songs each, which are all great (of course), although I don't like it as much as their previous release, but whatever. "DFHP?" previously appeared on Ew Gross as "Do Fish Have Periods?" and Matt (the bassist who also does a ton of backing vocals) sings the entirety of "My Elise". It's great.

1. Orange Julius
2. Call Out (Laundry)
3. Beach Community
4. Derailed
5. Famous Friend
6. Leather Jacket
7. 21st Dead Rats
8. Constant Nothing
9. Ashtray Petting Zoo
10. Constant Headache

Best album ever. Enough said.

1. Joyce Manor - New In This Light
2. Joyce Manor - Midnight Service At The Mutter Museum (Murder City Devils cover)
3. Big Kids - Pig Through A Python

This is their split with Big Kids, a punk band from Oakland, California who should definitely check out if you're not familiar with. Joyce Manor's got two songs on here, an original ("New In This Light") and a Murder City Devils cover ("Midnight Service At The Mutter Museum"). I love this.

1. These Kind Of Ice Skates
2. Comfortable Clothes
3. See How Tame I Can Be
4. Drainage
5. Video Killed The Radio Star (The Buggles cover)
6. If I Needed You There
7. Bride Of Usher
8. Violent Inside
9. I'm Always Tired

This is their second full-length (13 minutes, very full in length) put out earlier this year. The band's exploring some new elements (taking influence from The Smiths and post-punk), retaining a similar sound to what they have been doing, and even throwing back to their first demo (there's two acoustic songs on here). They do another cover ("Video Killed The Radio Star") too. Real good stuff.

1. Constant Nothing
2. Done Right Discount Flooring
3. Five Beer Plan
4. Chumped
5. Leather Jacket
6. New In This Light
7. Midnight Service At The Mutter Museum
8. Holiday Heart
9. My Elise
10. DFHP?

This is a compilation which includes their songs from Constant Headache, their split with Big Kids and their split with Summer Vacation. I suppose it's convenient, but I'd just download the three separately. You get the individual artwork and the other band's songs on the splits. But you know, if you want to.

1. Housewarming Party (Nervous Energies Halloween session - Clean version)

Barry just did Housewarming Party from their demo for a Nervous Energies session on, as the name says, Halloween. The "Clean version" is just the same song with the removal of the sound of fog machines, which were present in the performance. Speaking of which, you can check out here.

1. Christmas Card
2. Falling In Love Again
3. End Of The Summer
4. Victoria
5. Schley
6. Heart Tattoo
7. The Jerk 
8. In The Army Now
9. Catalina Fight Song
10. Heated Swimming Pool

1. Joyce Manor - Tame
2. Joyce Manor - Bride
3. Toys That Kill - Times We Can't Let Go
4. Toys That Kill - I Am Decided

1. Fake I.D.
2. Eighteen
3. Angel In The Snow
4. Do You Really Want To Not Get Better?
5. Last You Heard Of Me
6. Make Me Dumb
7. Over Before It Began
8. Reversing Machine
9. Stairs
10. This Song Is A Mess But So Am I

1. Fighting Kangaroo
2. Still In Love With You
3. Big Lie
4. I'm Not The One
5. Million Dollars To Kill Me
6. Silly Games
7. Friends We Met Online
8. Up The Punx
9. Gone Tomorrow
10. Wildflowers

1. House Warming Party
2. Fuck Koalacaust
4. Danke Schoen
5. Who Gave You A Baby
6. Constant Nothing
7. Done Right Discount Flooring
8. Five Beer Plan
9. Chumped
10. Leather Jacket

1. Souvenir
3. Reason To Believe
4. You're Not Famous Anymore
5. Don't Try
6. Gotta Let It Go
7. Dance With Me
8. Did You Ever Know
9. Secret Sisters