Thursday 31 March 2016


In typical Floorboard tradition, I had to pick a special band for its 400th post. After a lot of deliberation, I had to finally settle on the best band of all, Fugazi. To put it simply, they're this pretty influential punk/post-hardcore band from Washington, DC that were around from 1987 to their 2003 hiatus and featured members of Minor Threat and Rites Of Spring. However, there is much, much more to be said about them, and I will not even be able to scrape the surface of what makes them the phenomenal band they are. Regardless of that, thank you for letting this blog kick around long enough to make it all the way to 400, and if we're lucky, it just might last another 400, haha.

Since the start of this blog, I've had serious reservations about posting Fugazi. The sole reason behind that is the sheer amount of things that could be said about this band. It could stretch anywhere from a master's thesis to a three-volume encyclopedia as to why Fugazi are, undoubtedly, the greatest band to ever exist. Consider influence, originality, experimentation, energy, politics, catchiness, lyrics, live shows, or any other myriad of categories that constitute defining a "great" band, and Fugazi go above and beyond mastering them in the same way that bands like The Beatles or The Velvet Underground are commonly heralded for doing, and rightfully so.

Fugazi are an experience to indulge in, and thankfully they are one of the best documented bands of all time. Of course there are the actual albums, which could constitute an entire volume of that encyclopedia explaining why the songs and the recordings are absolute genius, and that could be broken down track by track, album to album. However, I think it's best to keep it short and let others find out why this is for themselves. Besides a perfect discography, they have a ton of visually recorded material. Their documentary, Instrument, is a perfect starting point for anyone getting into them. There's some of their absolute best live sets in there (see: "Glue Man" and "Shut The Door"), as well as some interview footage, in-studio clips, and random scenes from their daily lives. It's a great insight into the band, all packaged into this one very artfully done documentary.

There's also the Fugazi Live Series, which involves the band making full live sets available through Dischord, so almost any one of their shows is either or will be available to hear in full at some point in time. Even on YouTube, there's a ton of full live shows from them that I'd encourage checking out, so you can see what made their shows such a mind-blowing experience. The on-stage improvisation is seamless due to the rigid practice schedule they had, and it is an absolute awe to watch a band that tight cut through a set as diverse as theirs. As far as other information about them goes, there's a plethora of it out there; whether it be through other documentaries, interviews, or readings both online and in certain books, there's plenty that's available and incredibly interesting.

There is so much I want to rant and rave about when it comes to Fugazi, whether it be their music or their modus operandi. Even what I have written down now seems insufficient, and it's taking a lot to not just start again and try it perfect it, haha. But never mind that, the thing that caught my attention about them wasn't some blog's description. It was their music, plain and simple. They're a rare breed of band, since everything is their discography is worth giving a listen to, since they constantly expand on what they've done to progress with what they're doing next. I'll quit praising at their heels for now, so here's everything I've got by them, and thanks for sticking around to 400. Enjoy.

1. Waiting Room
2. Bulldog Front
3. Bad Mouth
4. Burning
5. Give Me The Cure
6. Suggestion
7. Glue Man

1. Waiting Room
2. Break-In
3. Merchandise
4. Glue Man

1. Margin Walker
2. And The Same
3. Burning Too
4. Provisional
5. Lockdown
6. Promises

1. Waiting Room
2. Bulldog Front
3. Bad Mouth
4. Burning
5. Give Me The Cure
6. Suggestion
7. Glue Man
8. Margin Walker
9. And The Same
10. Burning Too
11. Provisional
12. Lockdown
13. Promises

1. Song #1
2. Joe #1
3. Break-In

1. Turnover
2. Repeater
3. Brendan #1
4. Merchandise
5. Blueprint
6. Sieve-Fisted Find
7. Greed
8. Two Beats Off
9. Styrofoam
10. Reprovisional
11. Shut The Door
12. Song #1
13. Joe #1
14. Break-In

1. Styrofoam
2. Turnover
3. And The Same
4. Runaway
5. Merchandise
6. Sieve-Fisted Find/Reclamation
7. Break In
8. Song #1
9. Margin Walker/Bad Mouth/Waiting Room
10. Long Divison/Blueprint
11. Shut The Door
12. Promises/Two Beats Off/Repeater
13. Reprovisional

Note: This was a popular live bootleg

1. Exit Only
2. Reclamation
3. Nice New Outfit
4. Stacks
5. Latin Roots
6. Steady Diet
7. Long Division
8. Runaway Return
9. Polish
10. Dear Justice Letter
11. KYEO

1. Returning The Screw
2. Smallpox Champion
3. Walken's Syndrome
4. 23 Beats Off
5. Public Witness Program
6. Great Cop
7. Cassevetes

1. Facet Squared
2. Public Witness Program
3. Returning The Screw
4. Smallpox Champion
5. Rend It
6. 23 Beats Off
7. Sweet And Low
8. Cassavetes
9. Great Cop
10. Walken's Syndrome
11. Instrument
12. Last Chance For A Slow Dance

1. Do You Like Me
2. Bed For The Scraping
3. Latest Disgrace
4. Birthday Pony
5. Forensic Scene
6. Combination Lock
7. Fell, Destroyed
8. By You
9. Version
10. Target
11. Back To Base
12. Downed City
13. Long Distance Runner 

1. Break
2. Place Position
3. Recap Modotti
4. No Surprise
5. Five Corporations
6. Caustic Acrostic
7. Closed Captioned
8. Floating Boy
9. Foreman's Dog
10. Arpeggiator
11. Guilford Fall
12. Pink Frosty
13. FD

1. Pink Frosty Demo
2. Lusty Scripps
3. Arpeggiator Demo
4. Afterthought
5. Trio's
6. Turkish Disco
7. Me & Thumbelina
8. Floating Boy Demo
9. Link Track
10. Little Debbie
11. H.B.
12. I'm So Tired
13. Rend It Demo
14. Closed Captioned Demo
15. Guildford Fall Demo
16. Swingset
17. Shaken All Over
18. Slo Crostic

1. Furniture
2. Number 5
3. Hello Morning 

1. Untitled
2. Cashout
3. Full Discloure
4. Epic Problem
5. Life And Limb
6. The Kill
7. Strangelight
8. Oh
9. Ex-Spectator
10. Nightshop
11. Argument

19. The Word
20. Burning (Live)

1. Waiting Room
2. Merchandise
3. Furniture
4. Song #1
5. The Word
6. Bad Mouth
7. Break-In
8. Turn Off Your Guns
9. And The Same
10. In Defense Of Humans
11. Joe #1

Black Love

Black Love are a post-hardcore band from Montreal, Quebec that formed in 2011. One of the most noteworthy things about this band is how hard they are to pin down in terms of sound. For one, they (presumably) take their name from an Afghan Whigs album, and that influence does creep into their sound. Their early material reminds me of Hot Water Music for some reason, mostly because of the vocals and pummeling energy they've got going. Black Love have a bunch of very technical riffs going on, and a lot of lead guitar parts, which is a unique feature for "post-hardcore" as a whole. Their full-length is a bit of a departure from that, with that HWM pumping sound being replaced by a sparse, post-rock influence and a much darker atmosphere with some desperately screamed vocals. As much as I try to stick a tag on them, it still doesn't properly reflect what they have going on. Black Love are a phenomenal band that I highly recommend if you're looking for something new and unique, but with an odd familiarity to it. Enjoy.

1. Altar
2. Chinaman and Malays

1. Summertime / Chinamen & Malays
2. Black Baby Jesus
3. Altar
4. Graduation

1. The Discord Of A Forgotten Sketch - Coyotes
2. The Discord Of A Forgotten Sketch - Music Cowboys
3. Black Love - The Appalachian
4. Black Love - Motorboats and Waterfalls

1. Corps Étranger
2. Black Baby Jesus
3. Becker's Leitmotif
4. Libertines
5. L'Insoutenable Légèretè De Sauce
6. Ø
7. La Fois Que Le Spot Est Passé Au Feu

Wednesday 30 March 2016

Jon Kohen - Curse the Darkness, or Create a Light PREMIERE

Some of you may already be familiar with Jon Kohen's work. Whether it be with his band Kismet, or his solo material, both of which have been covered on this blog, his output is always astounding. Kohen is a Lowell, MA-based musician who's new EP, Curse the Darkness, or Create a Light today. Accompanying him is the a 13-piece string ensemble, featuring some members of the Lowell String Quartet, whose gargantuan bliss of somber orchestration contrast perfectly with Jon's whisper-thin vocals and guitar. If you're looking for some incredible, beautiful-sounding indie/acoustic music, this new EP is definitely a go-to for 2016.

I've done a quick track-by-track breakdown of the EP, but really just encourage you to give a listen yourself. It's a fantastic piece of work, in both an artistic and personally touching sense. It reminds me a lot of some of amazing artists, including Elliott Smith, Iron & Wine, and Carissa's Wierd, who I can not say enough positive things about. Same goes for this EP, and all of Jon's work of course. He's been a long-time supporter of the blog, just as I've been a long-time fan of his work. Thus, I'd encourage you to give it a listen, not only for that but also because this is some truly fantastic music he's created, and it needs to be shared and heard, so please enjoy.

The first track here is "A Light", which begins as it's title would suggest, with a gentle, catchy melody backed by a fingerpicked guitar. It instantly resonates, and though the instruments and melodies sound bright, the vocals pack a looming or longing in them, giving off the shadow that all light inevitably produces, or something of the sort. The strings hang in the background until the song peaks in the middle, at which point they come in full-force, elegantly layering and building on each other. The song breathes for a moment to let Jon's melodies take over before ending in a loud, longing harmony of strings and vocals.

"Between The Bars" might sound familiar, and understandably so, since it's a cover of a classic Elliott Smith song. You can see Jon and the string section perform it below, and both the recorded and live versions are absolutely magnificent. First of all, Smith's music suits Jon's style perfectly, so the match is inevitably good. For this track, Jon manages to maintain the sober, haunting atmosphere that Elliott established, and lets the strings take the song to a new height. Whether it be the slight staccato at the beginning, or the long, flowing embellishes of the chorus, the strings really make a sad song soar.

"Dusk" closes the EP with a similar songwriting style as it began. It features quiet passages of fingerpicking for the  excellent lyrics and vocals to shine through, and then give way to this monumental wave of euphoria brought on by the quartet. The dynamic here is played perfectly, with the rise and fall played throughout until the musical (and emotional) crescendo at the end, which leaves the listener floored, and brings a perfect EP to a perfect end.

1. A Light
2. Between The Bars
3. Dusk

Vinyl pre-orders will be available at: Endless Bummer RecordsSorry Dad Records, and Super Moon Records!

Saturday 26 March 2016

Andrew Thomson - Live At Apt. 2B

This past January, Drew Thomson played a set at Blacktop Records HQ in Tillsonburg, Ontario. It's a small town about 45 minutes outside of London, which is where his band, Single Mothers, originated. Though perhaps better known for his phenomenally raucous main project, he's developed a name for himself with his softer, acoustic-based material. The intimate, personal storytelling and self-reflections are put at the forefront, and this new tape is a perfect example of that. This new live set includes songs from prior tapes put out by Secret Voice and No Sleep, as well as a series of self-released EP's. What sets Live At Apt. 2B apart is the live setting, with the funny between-song banter, the crowd singing on "Bad Catholics", and the intimacy of the recording that makes it sound as though the listener is in the room.

Live At Apt. 2B will be available on April 16th, 2016 through iTunes and Spotify, in addition to Bandcamp. It's being pressed on cassette and limited to 100 copies on transparent green tint, so I highly suggest grabbing a copy as early as possible. I know I don't normally do promotions like this, but I am sincerely a massive fan of his work, and his other tapes are already permanent residents in my glovebox, and this one will definitely be joining them soon. Plus it's a chance to give an independent Ontario (where I'm from) label some support, so definitely give their entire roster a listen.

Get it here

Thursday 24 March 2016

Gouge Away

Gouge Away are a four-piece hardcore band from Fort Lauderdale, Florida that formed in 2012. Last month they put out this incredible album called , Dies that I cannot get enough of. It's a flat-out solid hardcore record from start to finish. They're loosely comparable to Punch, to give you some indication of their sound. I just wanted to quickly throw this out there because I am enjoying the hell out of it, and definitely recommend giving it a listen if you're interested. Enjoy the phenomenal full-length below. Note: The link was removed by request, but you can still purchase/stream it on their Bandcamp.

1. Disease

, Dies (2016)
1. Bleed
2. Calloused
3. Exhibit: Closed
4. Until Every Cage is Empty
5. Uproar
6. No White Flag
7. Enough.
8. Who Needs Language
9. When There's Eye Contact
10. Dirt Nap
11. Subtract & Divide
12. R.O.T.
13. Wildflowers

1. Only Friend
2. Fed Up
3. Slow Drown
4. Hey Mercy
5. Subtle Thrill
6. Ghost
7. Dis s o c i a t i o n
8. Can't Relate
9. Stray/Burnt Sugar
10. Wilt (I Won't)
11. Raw Blood

1. Stuck In A Dream
2. Maybe Blue
3. Idealized
4. Deep Sage
5. A Welcome Change
6. Overwatering
7. No Release
8. The Sharpening
9. Spaced Out
10. Newtau
11. Dallas

Nation Of Ulysses

The Nation Of Ulysses were a five-piece punk/post-hardcore band from Washington, DC that began in 1988 and ended in 1992. They were a Dischord band, and easily one of the best things to ever come out of the label, and that's saying a lot. They were radical in every sense of the word. Their music is manic, managing to be both polarizing and playful. They took a lot of influence from jazz, which is clear in their off-kilter rhythms the use of a trumpet and saxophone, and the occasional free-jazz interludes. Not to mention they outright pay homage to Ornette Coleman with the song title "The Sound Of Jazz To Come". Nation Of Ulysses were also a massive influence on a certain band that would later release a certain album titled The Shape Of Punk To Come; not only with their sound, but their politics. The band were very outspoken, through their shows, their zine ("Ulysses Speaks"), and their records, which they considered to be statements instead of albums. In a city dominated by Republicans and Democrats, they were their own political party. Their debut's title is outright 13-Point Program To Destroy America, if it couldn't be any clearer (the proper album is 13 songs, but the CD release had 3 bonus songs from their debut EP, thus the 16 track version below).

Three of them would later play in another great band called The Make-Up, and individual members were involved in a ton of projects post-NoU. The band put out two perfect albums and one compilation years after they ended. It contained some tracks that would have ended up being their third album, and a few live tracks tacked on at the end. This band probably should have been one of the bands I posted on here, yet here they are in 2016. I haven't listened to them in a little while unfortunately, but revisiting them now proves they never get old, and are still as mind-blowing the first and 500th time you hear them. Enjoy.

1. The Sound of Young America
2. Channel One Ulysses
3. Atom Bomb

1. Spectra Sonic Sound
2. Look Out! Soul is Back
3. Today I Met The Girl I'm Going To Marry
4. Ulythium
5. A Kid Who Tells On Another Kid Is A Dead Kid
6. Cool Senior High School (Fight Song)
7. Diptheria
8. Aspirin Kid
9. Hot Chocolate City
10. P. Power
11. You're My Miss Washington, D.C.
12. Target: U.S.A.
13. Love Is A Bull Market
14. The Sound of Young America
15. Channel One Ulysses
16. Atom Bomb

1. N-sub Ulysses
2. A Comment On Ritual
3. The Hickey Underworld
4. Perpetual Motion Machine
5. N.O.U. Future-Vision Hypothesis
6. 50,000 Watts Of Goodwill
7. Maniac Dragstrip
8. Last Train To Cool
9. Shakedown
10. Mockingbird, Yeah!
11. Depression III
12. S.S. Exploder
13. The Kingdom of Heaven Must Be Taken by Storm
14. The Sound Of Jazz To Come
15. N.O.U.S.P.T.D.A.
16. Presidents Of Vice

1. Introduction
2. Uptight
3. R.O.T.T.E.N.
4. A.P.E. Embassy
5. Hex-Proof
6. Outline For Hangout
7. Gimme Disaster
8. Shakedown (Party)
9. Last Train To Coll
10. P-Power Pt. II

Wednesday 23 March 2016

Midwest Pen Pals

Feel free to berate me for letting this go unposted for so long. Midwest Pen Pals were a three-piece emo/screamo band from South Bend, Indiana that were around in 2009. They're one of many bands that shared very similar members, with the others being Merchant Ships, William Bonney, Park Jefferson, you know who they are. Twinkly guitars and sad songs, it doesn't get much better than that. Midwest Pen Pals only ever released one EP, but it's gotten plenty of attention in the years following it. There was supposed to be a remaster in 2014, which was never officially released but leaked anyway. I have both the original 2009 version and the 2014 remaster below, so take your pick. The remaster definitely sounds better, plus has a bonus track, but I find it cool to hear the original recordings. Either or, enjoy.

1. Leaving Songs
2. Bobby Markos Posi Talk
3. My Castle, Your Castle
4. Austin's House
5. Because He's There, And He Hates Me
6. Movies Like Juno

1. Leaving Songs
2. Bobby Markos Posi Talk
3. My Castle, Your Castle
4. Austin's House
5. Because He's There, And He Hates Me
6. Movies Like Juno
7. A Kick Ass Life

Slingshot Dakota

Slingshot Dakota are a two-piece indie/emo band from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania that formed in 2003. They were started by Carly Comando, who was the vocalist and keyboard player, along with two other former members of Latterman. By 2006, those two members had been replaced by drummer Tom Patterson, who has been the group's second half ever since. They've got the indie/pop energy (and similar line-up) of Matt and Kim, the emo/indie sensibility of major influence Rainer Maria, and somehow fit in with modern bands such as Tigers Jaw. Essentially, Slingshot Dakota have a fairly wide appeal. It's hard not to like a band that feeds off of great songs with catchy choruses, amazing vocals, and a drum/keyboard mix. They've put out their last two full-lengths with Topshelf, which should be a blatant indication that they're one of the best bands around. Enjoy.

1. Lost Notes And Seared Hopes
2. A Glance Backwards And Forwards
3. It Wouldn't Be
4. I'll Leave The Toasts To The Bartender
5. Knights Of Nine
6. Best Friend
7. Throwing Darts
8. Application For Our Lucky Day
9. Friday Afternoon
10. Don't Forget To Stretch First

1. The Golden Ghost
2. Until The Day I Die
3. Ohio!
4. South 1st
5. I-78
6. Wave
7. Let Go
8. Until The Day I Die, Part 2
9. Tour Song
10. Lullaby

1. White Couch
2. Michael Jordan Saved My Life
3. Waiting Room (Fugazi cover)

1. Intro
2. May Day
3. Gossip
4. Disaster
5. Rasta Bacca
6. Never Hear
7. Starting Over
8. Light
9. Living/Dreaming
10. Cassette
11. Words
12. Good Year

1. Lions - Man Overboard
2. Invalids - Lemmings
3. Tir Asleen - Wendy Clear
4. Dads - Adam's Song
5. Slingshot Dakota - Stay Together For The Kids
6. We'll Die Smiling - Dammit

1. Pet Symmetry - Potted Plant Meets Vintage Amp: A Katherine Grube Love Story
2. Slingshot Dakota - Rise (Rainer Maria Cover)

1. You
2. Monocacy
3. Lewlyweds
4. Stay
5. Doreen
6. Paycheck
7. Too Much
8. Storytellers
9. Break