Friday, October 18, 2019

Bobby Hawk - "Salt and Liquor"

Photo by Chelsea Clarke
Bobby Hawk is best known as Robert Hecht, a touring fiddler with artists like Abigail Washburn, Noam Pikelny, and Phosphorescent. He's about to release his solo debut, which was written after a break up. As Hawk says, "“It sounds cliche, but it was the end of one of those relationships where you go, ‘Screw it, I’m gonna go get a tattoo and buy a guitar.' These songs just started pouring out.” The first single off the upcoming album, "Salt and Liquor," is roots based, which you would expect from a fiddler, but there is far heavier guitar than you'd expect. It's a roots/Americana song with a mix of indie rock and 90's alt-metal guitar, which is perfect for someone like me that grew up on Sonic Youth and Helmet but has discovered folk and country as I've gotten older. 

You can listen to "Salt and Liquor" below. Lights On Kinks Out, Bobby Hawk's solo debut album, will be out November 1. For more on Bobby Hawk, check out his website.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Mark Lind and The Unloved - "Out of the Blackout"

Even if you don't instantly recognize Mark Lind's name, if you've been paying any attention to the Boston music scene for the last twenty five years, you know who he is. He's been/is a member of The Ducky Boys, Dirty Water, Sinners & Saints, and The Warning Shots. It's been ten years since he last released music as Mark Lind and The Unloved, but now they're back with a new single and upcoming album! This time around his band consists of members of Diablogato, The Bruisers, Art Thieves, and Michael Kane & The Morning Afters.

The first single, "Out of the Blackout," is incredibly catchy punk rock 'n' roll. It borders between a more mainstream near-pop punk sound and dirty old school Boston punk. It's basically perfect in that way, and you owe it to yourself to listen, even if you've never heard of The Ducky Boys.

You can listen to "Out of the Blackout" below. The Last Bastion, the new album from Mark Lind and The Unloved, will be out 11/8 on Lind's own State Line Records. You can pre-order a copy here. For more on Mark Lind and The Unloved, check them out on Bandcamp and Facebook. If you plan on being in the Boston area for Thanksgiving weekend, the band is playing Great Scott in Allston on November 30.

7th Victim - "Missing Girls In Gothic Garb"

Photo via Facebook
7th Victim is the project that allows Rodney Anonymous to explore his love of electronic music much more than The Dead Milkmen ever could. Plus, they have the greatest Bandcamp bio of all time: 

"When you think of Philadelphia-based electronic acts, only one name comes to mind.
That name is Void Vision.
But sometimes they're not available. For those times, there's 7th Victim.
Formed in Stocksbridge, UK in 1976, 7th Victim has played shows with Joy Division, The Clash, The KLF, and Depache Mode.. Except for when they haven't. Which they didn't. Why are you still reading this?"

As you can tell from that bio and the name of their latest single, "Missing Girls In Gothic Garb," 7th Victim are surprisingly fun. Their latest single is very 80's style electronic. It's minimal and I hesitate to call it New Wave and compare it to early Depeche Mode (for obvious reasons), but...

You can listen to "Missing Girls In Gothic Garb" below. The song is available for free on 7th Victim's Bandcamp. For more on 7th Victim, check them out on Facebook.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

First Listen: New Releases for 11 October

Artist: The Dead South
Album: Sugar & Joy
Quick Description: New album from an underrated roots act.
Why You Should Listen: They're gritty but polished, which is a great mix.
Overall Thoughts: For what it’s worth, I never read about The Dead South when I’m hearing about current roots/Americana acts, and I don’t know why, because they’re great. They had the one viral hit, yes, but this new album does not betray their sound or provide any sort of sea change that would make you think they’re anything less than one of the more solid, skilled acts in the genre. If you want good roots music? Just make time for this.
Recommendation: You won’t regret a moment of it.

Artist: Cursive
Album: Get Fixed
Quick Description: Second new album this year from the indie emo band.
Why You Should Listen: Cursive is good, guys.
Overall Thoughts: A surprise second release from the indie act, this one is a little more chamber-emo than the harshness of the solid album earlier this year, but it definitely doesn’t feel like a ton of castoff songs. Cur have been great for some time now, and this is just the latest in their line of quality music.
Recommendation: Don’t miss out.

Artist: Very Good
Album: Adulthood
Quick Description: One of the more interesting folkish listens of the week.
Why You Should Listen: Defies any expectations you may have.
Overall Thoughts: This is a very interesting listen in a lot of ways. I can’t say for sure whether it works for me on first listen, as it is such a stilted jolt to the system for what comes across as a folk-style record, but still such a fascinating adventure. I didn’t want to ignore this one this week, and if you’re feeling like a trek off the beaten path…
Recommendation: Worth your time.

Artist: Kim Gordon
Album: No Home Record
Quick Description: Sonic Youth frontwoman with her first solo album.
Why You Should Listen: Kim Gordon is basically grunge royalty.
Overall Thoughts: An odd and frustrating record in all the right ways. Most of my favorite Sonic Youth songs featured Kim Gordon in a big way, so I’ve been low-key looking forward to this effort. The result ends up being something very odd and often impenetrable, and that isn’t a bad thing. In fact, in many ways, it is exactly what I was hoping for and expecting from it. This is basically impossible to really write about coherently, but it is worth a full listen. For me, I’m definitely looking to revisit.
Recommendation: A really fascinating experience.

Artist: The Building
Album: PETRA
Quick Description: Thoughtful, interesting folk rock.
Why You Should Listen: This doesn't play it entirely straight.
Overall Thoughts: The number of fairly basic folk rock records that come across our weekly listens is often staggering, but this means that when a superlative one hits our stack, we notice. This is one of them, with a pleasant demeanor and some interesting musical and lyrical flourishes that sets it apart. There’s something a little more special about this one...
Recommendation: check it out.

Artist: Big Thief
Album: Two Hands
Quick Description: Second album this year from the indie faves.
Why You Should Listen: More in line with what you might expect.
Overall Thoughts: Big Thief is back after a few months with a new album. This one feels a lot closer to what I expect compared to U.F.O.F., and the result is a pretty solid listen that doesn’t feel like a bunch of throwaways from the previous sessions.
Recommendation: Good for fans, worth it for all.

Of note:

* Chris Farren - Born Hot (Power pop lives!)
* Tahiti 80 - Fear of an Acoustic Planet (Sneaky good.)
* 808 State - Transmission Suite
* Elbow - Giants of All Sizes
* Lemolo - Swansea
* Allah-Las - LAHS
* Suitcase Sam - Goodnight Riverdale Park
* Newmoon - Nothing Lasts Forever
* Jonsi and Alex Somers - Lost & Found
* The Hard-Ons - So I Could Have Them Destroyed
* Art Alexakis - Sun Songs
* Babymetal - Metal Galaxy
* Dan Luke and the Raid - Out of the Blue
* Joseph Arthur - Come Back World

7 Song Albums:

* BODEGA - Shiny New Model


* Mallin Petterson - Alonesome
* Lindstrom - On a Clear Day I Can See You Forever
* Babehaven - Suspended Animation
* Marika Hackman - Any Human Friend
* Askjell - To Be Loved
* Son Little - Invisible

Also Out:

* Wale - Wow, That's Crazy
* Lightning Bolt - Sonic Citadel

Wished Bone - "Hold Me"

Photo via Facebook
Wished Bone is the folk project of plant biologist turned bartender Ashley Rhodus. Although, judging by the single "Hold Me," this isn't going to be your typical traditional folk music. "Hold Me" doesn't follow the traditional folk instrumentation, but isn't quite a rock song, either. Instead it sounds like a wonderfully odd mix of Tom Petty and The Sundays. The song dabbles in folk, rock, and pop equally, without ever fully committing to any of them. This gives it a unique sound while still feeling familiar.

You can listen to "Hold Me" below. Sap Season, the upcoming album from Wished Bone, will be out November 1. You can pre-order a copy via Bandcamp. For more on Wished Bone, check out the project's Facebook and Twitter.

Friendly Rich - "Donkey Day"

Photo by Brittany Farhat
Friendly Rich's latest single has a very unique sound to it. "Donkey Day" is weird enough that I can only truly compare it to Tom Waits. But it's as if Tom Waits decided to rock and collaborate with Les Claypool. And the two of them tried to make a mainstream hit song. According to Friendly Rich "... is inspired by one of my favourite Canadian cities,   Guelph, Ontario. Once a year, on “Donkey Day,the animals are let loose throughout the city. It’s pure chaos, just like this tune." This might be the happiest song on the upcoming album, since the album has an "... overall theme of terrorism that’s woven throughout, to death, divorce, depression, religion..."

You can watch the video for "Donkey Day" below. WE ARE ALL TERRORISTS, the upcoming album from Friendly Rich, will be out November 1. For more on Friendly Rich, check out his website.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Duck & Cover - "Two Shots"

Photo via Facebook
Boston's Duck & Cover have a new EP coming out, and their latest single, "Two Shots," is a blend of a bunch of different punk genres. First off, "Two Shots" is a dirty, grungy style of punk. But, it also has a bouncy pop punk feel to it. The vocals are as catchy as you can imagine, except for when they have a shout along, hardcore feel to it. And then you throw in the killer guitar solo, which is usually not allowed in any style of punk. All of this is crammed into a single three minute song, and these styles happen separately and blend in at the same time throughout the chorus of the song. It completely shatters the typical classic punk song structure while still paying homage to classic punk.

You can listen to "Two Shots" below. Two Shots, the EP, will be out in January on State Line Records. You can pre-order a copy here. For more on Duck & Cover, check them out on Facebook.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Plumes - "Bobbie Blue & Connie Sue"

Boston's Plumes have a new single out, and it's a unique blend of folk rock. "Bobbie Blue & Connie Sue" has an interesting feel, with a start/stop quality, and a Smiths like delivery mixed with the aggression of Violent Femmes. I don't think it can truly be considered folk, but there is a distinct folk-adjacent feel. It's a quiet little epic song, that is somehow fun and quirky without being cutesy. 

You can listen to "Bobbie Blue & Connie Sue" and its b-side "Summertime Autumn Breeze" below. The song will be included on Plumes's upcoming album which should be released in November. For more on Plumes, be sure to check them out on Facebook and Bandcamp. At their Bandcamp, you can download previous releases for free, and you know how we feel about free music!

Friday, October 11, 2019

Full Body - "Alias"

Photo by Brandon Mark
Upstate NY's Full Body have a new single that's the perfect blend of noise rock and pop craftsmanship. That might be a weird way to word it, since "Alias" is about as far away from a pop song as you can imagine. It kind of meanders around without following any set hit songwriting strategy. Plus, the guitars are bitingly fuzzy. But "Alias" has some serious catchy hooks. Somehow, since the hooks come and go whenever the seem to want to and not when they would traditionally need to go in order to comprise a standard song. The band has this to say about the song:

"'Alias' started with an idea Jack (our drummer) had. We changed the form around and collaborated on the lyrics, which for me was a first. It's one of the more pop leaning tracks on this record, and like a few of the other songs it touches on people not being who you thought they were. Classic shit am i right?"

You can listen to "Alias" below. Always There, the new album from Full Body, will be out October 18 on Five Kill Records, which has quickly become a favorite label around here. You can pre-order the album over at Bandcamp. For more on Full Body, check them out on Facebook and Twitter.

Rosa Bordallo - "Sleight of Hand"

Photo by Varvara Mikushkina
CHamoru-American artist Rosa Bordallo has released a final single before next week's release of her solo debut, and "Sleight of Hand" just heightens our excitement for the album. While her previous two singles, "Lost On the Coast" and "Citadel," were simplistically quiet and loud respectively, "Sleight of Hand" is both. It starts out with a shoe-gazey wash of guitars until the guitar drops out to make room for Bordallo's voice. The song meanders between quiet and simple and a droning, buzzy guitar centered rocker. It's a compelling dichotomy that makes us unable to wait for the album release next week.

You can listen to "Sleight of Hand" below. Reef Walker, the new album from Rosa Bordallo, will be out October 18 on Time Castle Recordings. You can pre-order a copy via Bandcamp. For more on Rosa Bordallo, check out her Facebook.