Friday, October 19, 2018

Wargirl - "Poison"

After listening to the newest single from Wargirl, I was surprised to find out they are from Long Beach, CA. Their sound is more English, or at least New York than outside of Los Angeles. "Poison" is a slinky disco meets post punk song. It's a really unique sound that they credit from being from Long Beach. According to guitarist Matt Wignall: “No matter whether you see us or hear us, we always come across as a diverse bunch: ethnically as well as in terms of gender and preferences. However, whilst this may be considered colourful elsewhere, in Long Beach it is totally normal. Nobody else sounds like us, and yet we sound like the environment we come from.” Wargirl also credits The Clash's Sandinista! as a major influence, which makes perfect sense.

You can watch the video for "Poison" below. Wargirl's self titled debut album will be released on October 26 on Clouds Hill. You can pre-order a copy here. For more on Wargirl, check them out on Twitter and Facebook.

Friday Freebie: SkyTigers - Appetite for Reconstruction

As I mentioned earlier this week, we don't cover a whole lot of heavy music here at If It's Too Loud..., so when we do, you know it's because we really like it. Massachusetts's SkyTigers are one of those bands we can get into. Their debut EP, Appetite for Reconstruction, is a five song burst of thrashy heavy metal meets hardcore punk. I would simply classify it as hardcore, but the guitar solos are too epic to just be called hardcore. Plus, they somehow have some great pop punk harmonies hidden in the noise. Normally this is something I hate, but SkyTigers prove that heavy music can have hooks. 

You can listen to "Knuckleduster" below. SkyTigers's EP, Appetite for Reconstruction, is available now for free on Bandcamp. If you choose zero for the "name your price" option, at least give them a follow on social media. You can find them on Facebook here.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Shogun and The Sheets - "Hold On Kid"

Photo by Aaron Blakely
Shogun and The Sheets are the new project from Royal Headache's Shogun. Hailing from Sydney, their debut single, "Hold On Kid," is a rollicking throwback to the early 2000's garage rock revival, albeit a synth heavy version. It also includes a heavy dose of soul, coming across like an amped up version of ? and the Mysterians. 

While "Hold On Kid" is the A-side, I really have to mention the B-side, "Pissing Blood." "Pissing Blood" starts off like a garage rock Black Sabbath before it morphs into a noisy, guitar heavy soul ballad. I personally think this should be the A-side, but it could just be me.

You can listen to "Hold On Kid" and "Pissing Blood" below. Shogun and The Sheet's debut 7" is available now on What's Your Rupture?, and can be ordered via Bandcamp. For more on Shogun and The Sheets, check out their website

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Neighborhood of Make Believe - "Between Two Nighttimes Lightning"

Photo by Alex Muro
It's rare to find a band that has an original take on traditional folk while still staying traditional. "Between Two Nighttimes Lightning" from Albany's Neighborhood of Make Believe has that feel to it. The band utilizes accordion and brass instruments instead of the typical string instruments, which gives the song a modern take (their press release calls this Neo-gypsy, and I'd have to agree). The song seems to ramble naturally in whichever direction it felt like going in. While most music feels controlled, "Between Two Nighttimes Lightning" feels like it just happened and this recording is merely a document of that occurrence.

You can listen to "Between Two Nighttimes Lightning" below. Two Nighttimes, the debut album from Neighborhood of Make Believe, will be out November 12 on Five Kill Records. You can pre-order your copy on Bandcamp. For more on Neighborhood of Make Believe, check out their website.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

First Listen: New Releases for 12 October

Sorry for two weeks of quick hits in a row - I was out of town at a wedding, so I was unable to do as much prep. Should be back on course next week.

Must-Listens:

* Dusty Stray - Estranged
* K Michelle Dubois - Harness
* The Watson Twins - Duo
* Yowler - Black Dog in My Path
* Arc Iris - Icon of Ego
* Anna St. Louis - If Only There Was a River
* Matthew Dear - Bunny

Of note:

* Adwaith - Melyn
* John Hiatt - The Eclipse Sessions
* Tom Morello - The Atlas Underground (very polarizing)
* Ben Katzman's DeGreaser - Quarter Life Crisis
* The Persian Leaps - Pop That Goes Crunch
* Haley - Pleasureland
* Edie Brickell & New Bohemians - Rocket
* Jess Glynne - Always In Between

EPs:

* Young Jesus - The Whole Thing is Just Here
* Live - Local 717
* Alexa Melo - Mute EP

Also out:

* Blues Traveler - Hurry Up & Hang Around
* Tom Robbins and Ben Lee - B is for Beer: The Musical
* Django Django - Marble Skies
* Young the Giant - Mirror Master
* Elvis Costello and the Imposters - Look Now
* St. Vincent - MassEducation
* The Monkees - Christmas Party
* Kurt Vile - Bottle It In

Live Shows: Molly Burch and Olden Yolk, Lilypad Inman, Cambridge, MA 10/14/18

It's very rare that two artists with two of my favorite albums of the year tour together, but when that happens I know I have to go out, even if it's a late night show on a work night. Obviously this is what happened when I saw that Molly Burch and Olden Yolk were playing together at the ultra-tiny Lilypad.

Olden Yolk played first as a duo. They invited the crowd to move forward and sit on the floor, creating an even more intimate experience. Olden Yolk are a quiet, mellow band, and are even more so as a duo, so luckily the crowd was impeccably attentive without any chatter. I forgot just how great their debut album from earlier this year was. "Gamblers On a Dime" and "Vital Sign" could not have sounded more perfect. Sometimes quieter indie rock/folk doesn't translate live, but for Olden Yolk it couldn't have been more of an ideal setting.

I saw Molly Burch back in 2017 opening for Sallie Ford. The past year has seen her grow as a performer. On her first headlining tour, she seemed much more comfortable and sure of herself. She was fighting a cold and popping cough drops in between songs, which could have been a disaster for a performer whose main focus is her voice. Luckily, she seemed barely affected while singing, and her voice sounded gorgeous with her indie folk meets 50's girl group songs. During "Nothing to Say" her voice may have faltered a tiny bit for a few notes, but she could have also been holding back a bit because of her cold. Or it could have been the slight sound issues that plagued the set randomly throughout the night. As the songs focused primarily on Burch's voice, the band played very restrained and laid back throughout the night. The main set closer, "Downhearted," was their first time to really branch out and turned the song into an indie rock epic as it built to a climax.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Spirit Family Reunion Covers Barbara Dane & The Chambers Brothers

We're always happy to bring you any new music from Spirit Family Reunion, and we're especially happy when it's a particularly great song, and a cover! "It Isn't Nice" was originally written by Malvina Reynolds ("Little Boxes") in 1963 and arranged by Barbara Dane & The Chambers Brothers in 1966. In 2018 it's been updated by Spirit Family Reunion. It's a song extolling the virtues of protest, saying that while most forms of protest may not be considered "nice," sometimes you need to not be nice. The updated portion is very obvious with lyrics that include "They separate children at the Mexican border / And shoot our good neighbors for driving while black." I don't think there is any current band that is more perfectly suited to updating a classic folk protest song like this than Spirit Family Reunion are.

The band says about the song:

Dear Friends,
Much of the misery, suffering and exploitation that is so palpable to so many right now, relies on deception, despair and complacency in order to maintain power. Only with hearts, minds and eyes wide open can we really find our way forward. Music helps us open, and we hope this song can help you as we find our collective way forward.
This song came to us by way of two brave women: #MalvinaReynoldswho wrote it, and Barbara Dane who made this arrangement. As they demonstrated on the front lines of freedom struggles, working for freedom is not always seen as nice, convenient or even legal. But we need to embrace it, otherwise we are working against our own humanity.
If freedom means the absence of subjugation to domination, we have a lot of work to do before we all truly have access to this fundamental ideal. And there are so many courageous examples of this work. This song means to move you into rebellion. To embrace your power to disrupt the viciousness that is permitted by complacency.

You can watch the lyric video for "It Isn't Nice" below. For more on Spirit Family Reunion, check out their website.

LIZZY - Dirty War Machine

We don't cover a ton of metal here at If It's Too Loud..., so when we do you know it's something we really like. New Hampshire's LIZZY have cracked our code. They've just released a four song EP that clocks in at twenty four minutes long. Dirty War Machine is this great mixture of a few of our favorite styles of metal. It has a lot of the feeling of the plodding side of Black Sabbath, the sludge of the Melvins, the groove of early Queens of the Stone Age, and the insane noise bursts of Lightning Bolt, all in the same song. The album opener, "Get High or Die / The Death of Sun Tzu," takes nearly five minutes to fully kick in, but when the drums start it's fully worth it. "Noise Parade / Spina Bifida" careens wildly from spastic metal to sludgy drudgery and back again. Metal may not be our usual genre of choice, but we can't recommend LIZZY enough.

You can listen to "Noise Parade / Spina Bifida" below. Dirty War Machine is available now on Bandcamp. Bandcamp also seems to be LIZZY's only online presence, so be sure to check them out there.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Forever House - "Spiders"

We're absolutely thrilled to bring you the premier of the new single for "Spiders," the new song from Brooklyn's Forever House. Forever House started off in the world of improvisation, jazz, and classical music. Whatever you have in your head, you should just throw that out completely, because whatever you picture I can pretty much guarantee that they sound nothing like that. (Vocalist Meaghan Burke does play a cello, but that's where the similarities end.) Instead "Spiders" is this absolutely insane blast of what they call "sloppy-math/avant-grunge," maniacally careening between intense quiet parts and explosive bursts of noise before going into a bizarro crooner-esque mode. James Moore's guitars remind me of The Jesus Lizard and Pete Wise's drumming reminds me of Steve Shelley at some points. It's a crazy intense sound that we can't highly recommend enough.

You can listen to "Spiders" below. Eaves, the debut album from Forever House, will be released on November 9 via Infrequent Seams. You can pre-order the album on Bandcamp. For more on Forever House, check out their website. Current tour dates are below the video.



10/24 Root Cellar, Greenfield, MA
11/8 News Cafe, Pawtucket, RI
11/10 Princeton Library, Princeton, NJ
11/11 Secret Project Robot, Brooklyn, NY
1/18 The Underground, Lansdale, PA
5/24 The Record Co, Boston, MA

Live Shows: The Beths, Atwood's Tavern, Cambridge, MA 10/10/18

Photo by Ken Sears
Atwood's Tavern is one of those venues that you know what type of music you're going to hear when you walk in the door. It's become quite possibly the go to venue for Americana/roots music in Boston and even if you don't know the band, if you're in the mood for some country or folk, you can hear that at Atwood's any night there is a band playing.

Anyone walking in off the street Wednesday night looking for that would have been severely disappointed, but probably not for long. The Beths, one of New Zealand's finest indie rock bands, came to town to play the 85 person venue. My love of their recently released album Future Me Hates Me made me expect to really enjoy their show, but I was completely blown away. 

For a band that only released their debut album this year, The Beths have perfected the art of playing tightly enough to be good but loose enough to have fun. And I think that might be the secret of the band: The absolute joy they exude while playing their sad songs that sound happy. It's completely infectious, and the crowd was beyond pumped to
Photo by Ken Sears
be there and seemed to already know every single song the band played. The other secret weapon of The Beths is guitarist Jonathan Pearce. While the rest of the band (Elizabeth Stokes (vocals/guitar), Benjamin Sinclair (bass/vocals), and Ivan Luketina-Johnston (drums/vocals)) are playing together, Pearce seems to be playing off in his own little direction, quietly playing these beautiful quiet melodies that and up accentuating the songs.


And the songs. Just about every song The Beths played could be a huge hit single. Look at the first three songs they played. "Future Me Hates Me" is as catchy as anything you've heard in the last ten years, "Uptown Girl" has that manic feel that gets your attention, and "You Wouldn't Like Me" has the best handclaps you've ever heard. But it's "Little Death" that could make The Beths superstars. On Future Me Hates Me it's easily one of my favorite songs, but live the song takes on a whole new intense feel. The chorus of "And I die I die a little death" is somehow designed to be an audience shout along once the band starts playing summer festivals. Plus, the instrumental bridge is just epic.

Do yourself a favor and see The Beths as soon as you can. It will be impossible for them to keep playing 85 person venues for much longer, if they ever do again.