Friday 18 June 2021

By Surprise

By Surprise are a four-piece emo/indie band from Haddon Heights, New Jersey that began in 2006. They are one of many bands I always figured I had posted early on, but have since discovered to be missing completely. They were one of the best of the early "revival" bands, which culminated in a fantastic LP put out in 2011 on Topshelf. Though their first album and their early work got tons of love, I'll admit I kind of lost track of them after that. Turns out they put out another album two years ago, along with a handful of other releases which I'm looking forward to finally checking out. But to start, I cannot recommend Mountain Smashers enough, that is quintessential listening for fans of emo of that era. Also, if anyone happens to have more of their earliest material please send it to me. I know I'm missing some stuff but cannot track any of it down, would be great to share it as well. Thank you, and enjoy!

1. Ode To Pollard
2. I Liked You Better
3. Terra Cotta Army
4. Circuit Breaker (Blow Minds)

1. Hightide Hotel - Shuttle
2. Hightide Hotel - Elementary Biology
3. Hightide Hotel - Apartment Buildings
4. By Surprise - Invisible Ink
5. By Surprise - CB Radio
6. By Surprise - I Miss You etc.

1. Books By Thoreau
2. Realometer
3. Mostly Harmless
4. Last Chance To See
5. Photoshoot
6. Fountain Splashers
7. $600 Exorcism
8. So Long And Thanks For All The Shark Jaws
9. Daggermouth Is Playing At My House
10. Hanging Out With Wendy In Sulkiland
11. Direct Loans

1. Criteria
2. Wear That Crown
3. Way To Be Tall

1. Battle of Snowmeng Mountain Pt. 2
2. Always Ruining Everything
3. Who's To Say This Year Will Be Any Different?
4. Shovel
5. Worst Christmas Ever
6. Snow Angel
7. No Mistletoe

1. Broadcaster - Bottle Rockets
2. Broadcaster - Hornet's Nest
3. By Surprise - Photosludge
4. By Surprise -Point Set Match
 5. By Surprise - Postmodern Laziness 
6. By Surprise - Photonova

1. Aspiga - Fading Into Summer
2. Aspiga - Eucalyptus Nights
3. By Surprise - Teton Range
4. By Surprise - Amateur Status

1. Ribald
2. Be Composed
3. Honeydew List
4. Pretend
5. Low Hanging Wire
6. Basement
7. Be Minor
8. Summer Is Now
9. Marry Me
10. Anarchyville
11. I Can See The Sun
12. Be Alright
13. Your Time Will Come


Snacking are a five-piece emo/indie band from Petersburg, Florida that have been around since 2012. Their latest EP Painted Gold came out in February of this year. These four tracks all offer something different, with strong songwriting and some fantastic production being the common thread. Sonically, the band takes clear influence from emo with an indie rock temperament, with a sound that would appeal to fans of bands like Into It. Over It. or Death Cab For Cutie. Highly recommended stuff, enjoy!

1. Penalty Shot
2. It's a Spring Thing
3. Crumby
4. Phone Etiquette
5. I Don't Want To Live On This Planet Anymore

1. Unravled
2. Rocket Town
3. Genius, Actually
4. Quincy
5. Hum
6. Weathervane

1. Blacked Out On A Train
2. Crossword
3. Edward
4. Painted Gold

Thursday 17 June 2021

Expert Timing

Expert Timing are a three-piece emo pop band from Orlando, Florida that began in 2016. They're a relatively new addition to CYLS with the release of their EP Whichever, Whatever last year, and were pretty prolific up until then. The band have made life easy with the self-assigned "bubblegrunge power pop", which really encapsulates their sound. They bring high energy, dual vocals, earworm choruses, and bright chords with the occasional blast of distorted guitars to each song, making for some unforgettable tracks. Fans of Weezer, The Format, Dowsing, and Camp Cope should check this band out, though those are some pretty loose comparisons. Enjoy.

1. Cement
2. Speak
3. Nervous Wreck
4. Sad Enough

1. Sleep
2. Act Your Age
3. Nervous Wreck
4. Swimming
5. Slow

1. Don't Look Back
2. Classic Case of Narcissism
3. Disastrous
4. Never See Me Again
5. Smother
6. Alone
7. Sever Your Ties
8. Cement
9. I Just Might Surprise You
10. Littlest Amount
11. Glare

1. Complain.gif (Acoustic Demo)
2. Elevator (Acoustic Demo)
3. Cruis'n USA (Demo)

1. Disastrous (Acoustic Version)

1. Gravity
2. Good Things
3. Constant Melody
4. Luckin' Out
5. My Body

1. Cement (Live At Shards)
2. Never See Me Again
3. Classic Case Of Narcissism
4. Sleep
5. Wait, Wait, Wait (The Format cover)

1. Special Hell
2. Super Ordinary Unimpressed
3. Autonomy
4. The Bigger Picture
5. Life In Pictures
6. New Queen
7. Short & Sweet
8. Hey Friend
9. Homesick Hearts
10. I Can See You Dancing
11. Kick Rocks


Stella were a three-piece indie/emo band from Auburn, New York that were briefly active in 1995 following the break-up of another band, Underside. Members of that band went on to become 2/3s of Stella, who played a handful of shows and recorded these 5 tracks as their swan song. Those recordings became the debut release of Grafton Records in 1995. Stella can be loosely compared to bands like Everyone Asked About You and Ribbon Fix (another Grafton band), with some very washy guitars coated in distortion and reverb, bordering on a shoegaze tone. This is a fascinating little EP, definitely worth giving a listen to. Enjoy.

1. P.s.e.
2. Rum
3. Fire
4. Ledge
5. Moods

Wednesday 16 June 2021

Make Believe

Make Believe were a four-piece math rock/indie band from Chicago, Illinois that were around from 2003 to 2008. They began as a touring version of Joan of Arc, as all members of Make Believe have at some point been involved in Joan of Arc. The band consisted of vocalist Tim Kinsella (also involved in Cap'n Jazz, Owls, Friend/Enemy, and the main member of Joan of Arc), guitarist Sam Zurick (Cap'n Jazz, Ghosts And Vodka, Owls, Friend/Enemy), bassist Bobby Burg (Joan of Arc, Love Of Everything), and drummer/keyboardist Nate Kinsella (Joan Of Arc, American Football, Love Of Everything). Sonically, Make Believe do sound like an off-shoot of their relative Joan Of Arc, with the odd time signatures, discordant, off-kilter and often noodly discordant guitar melodies with heavy use of harmonics. Tim Kinsella's voice is as unique and charismatic as ever, with a sound that is unmistakably his. Make Believe put out a surprising amount of material in their five short years, which is definitely recommended for fans of the more unusual and experimental Kinsella projects. They are one of the few remaining Cap'n Jazz-related bands I have yet to post, so am happy to finally get them added here. Enjoy.

1. We're All Going To Die
2. Britt's Favorite
3. Witchcraft
4. Temping As A Shaman
5. Abracadabra - Thumbs!
6. How To Haunt A House

1. The Vampire's Lament To His Nurse
2. Each Day Is Different And The Same As Cocks

1. Love of Everything - Keep Off of Me
2. Love of Everything - Proud by Looking Around
3. Joan of Arc - Violencii or Violencum
4. Owen - I'm Not Seventeen
5. Make Believe - Small Apartment Party Epiphany
6. Make Believe - One Second Wide and Weeks Deep
7. People Dick - Pee Dicky

1. Amscaredica
2. His Short Quip When Eddie's Bothered
3. Say What You Mean
4. Small Apartment Party Epiphany
5. Television Cemetary
6. The Storm On Her Birthday
7. Can't Tell Cop From Cab
8. One Zero
9. A Band Room of One's Own
10. Wild Science, Wild Signs
11. Fumio Nambata Had a Farm
12. Momentum Logic
13. 'Boom!' Sounds Like 'Hiss' From Inside It

1. A Song About Camping
2. Another Song About Camping
3. Political Mysticism
4. Florida/Oklahoma 12/05
5. Pat Tillman, Emmitt Till
6. Coup D'Thought
7. Bisect Duality
8. Plants Dance
9. Sometimes I See Sideways
10. Anything/Selling That Thing
11. Plantarchy In the You Be

1. Ooo-Yum
2. Just Green Enough
3. Sam Rollerskating Backwards
4. For Lauri Bird
5. Wearin' Torn
6. Garden Stencil
7. Goin' To The Bone Church
8. (I Can't Understand) Satisfaction
9. Taste, Touch, Smell, Deceit And Touch
10. People Laughing