Monday, September 27, 2021

Destroy Boys - "Escape"

Northern California's Destroy Boys are giving us another sample of their upcoming album before it's out next week. "Escape" is the kind of song that the crusty middle aged dude in me hates calling punk, although it is. Sure, "Escape" is quite poppy but still has just enough edge and crunch to it to keep it from being pure pop. That being said, this is such a poppy song. It's the level of pop that usually turns me off, but when a song is this great it's impossible not to love. Maybe it's the oddly 90's slacker vibe you can hear throughout, especially in the vocals. Not many bands can combine punk, 90's indie rock, and pop in a way that is this compelling, but Destroy Boys pull it off. Plus, there's a spoken part in the middle that sounds like it's a phone call which is making me oddly nostalgic for the late 80's.

Frontperson Alexia Roditis says of the new song:

“‘Escape’  is about wanting an out from the regular life I was living. I wrote it pre-pandemic, though you might not have known that if you listened to it. It’s about wanting to go on tour and wanting to escape reality in any way possible.”

You can listen to "Escape" below. Open Mouth, Open Heart is due out October 8 on Hopeless Records. You can pre-save or pre-order the album here. For more on Destroy Boys, check out the band's website. Upcoming tour dates are below the song.

SEP 30 The Dip @ Redding, CA
OCT 1 Bottom Of the Hill San Francisco, CA 
OCT 2 Harlow's Restaurant & Nightclub Sacramento, CA
OCT 3 The Holland Project Reno, NV
OCT 5  The Vera Project Seattle, WA
OCT 6 Lola's Room Portland, OR
NOV 19 Chain Reaction Anaheim, CA
NOV 20 VooDoo Room San Diego, CA
NOV 21 Nile Theater Mesa, AZ
NOV 23 Antone's Austin, TX
NOV 24 Ruins Dallas, TX
NOV 26  The End Nashville, TN
NOV 27 Purgatory At The Masquerade Atlanta, GA
NOV 28 Crowbar Tampa, FL
NOV 30 Local 506 Chapel Hill, NC
DEC 1  Songbyrd Music House Washington, DC
DEC 2 Space Ballroom Hamden, CT
DEC 3 Market Hotel Brooklyn, NY
DEC 4 First Unitarian Church Philadelphia, PA
DEC 5 FĂȘte Music Hall Lounge Providence, RI
DEC 6  Brighton Music Hall Allston, MA
DEC 8 Mahalls Cleveland, OH
DEC 9 The Sanctuary Hamtramck, MI
DEC 10 FRI Cobra Lounge Chicago, IL
DEC 11 SAT Odyssey Lounge Springfield, MO
DEC 13 89th Street Collective Oklahoma City, OK
DEC 14 Launchpad Albuquerque, NM

Live Shows: Pete Bernhard and The Huntress and Holder of Hands, The Word Barn, Exeter, NH 9/25/21

Saturday was a ridiculous day filled with live shows in the Boston area. No matter what I chose, I was going to have some level of FOMO. But, I've been hoping to get back to The Word Barn before they close up their meadow stage for the season, and with a dual bill of Pete Bernhard of The Devil Makes Three and The Huntress and Holder of Hands playing solo, I truly couldn't pass that up. 

During the show, MorganEve Swain mentioned that she hates playing solo since it was all her and any mistakes couldn't be covered up. I was personally curious how The Huntress and Holder of Hands songs would work solo seeing that her music is quite noisy. Sure, it's primarily folk but with elements of indie rock and even metal it can get quite loud and discordant. Stripped down to just guitar and vocals her music was at its most bare bones. Swain played a good amount of new songs that were just being played live for the first few times, including last year's "Doctrine." If their solo form is this intriguing, I'm looking forward to see how they morph into album tracks. She also pulled out a cover of her late husband's (Dave Lamb) and a version of Alice in Chains' "Nutshell" that was mesmerizing. She closed with Brown Bird's "Bilgewater" to end a stellar solo set.

Pete Bernhard started his set almost immediately after Swain's ended due to the threats of rain that plagued the night. (Hoping that this show would be able to held outdoors led to constantly checking the weather all week and even all day, which was a rollercoaster.) He joked about trying to quit smoking and how he'd be angry is he died from something else right after quitting, and recommended not releasing an album during a pandemic. Obviously his solo sets are going to be a lot less raucous than a The Devil Makes Three show, but it was no less fun. He played the first half of his set truly solo and was joined by Swain on fiddle for the second half. The pair are playing a handful of smaller New England venues as a semi-tour, and you could just tell how happy they are to be playing live music again. I've coincidentally been on a Devil Makes Three kick lately, so seeing Bernhard playing solo in one of my favorite venues was serendipity. 

The magic of The Word Barn's meadow was in full display Saturday night. I don't know why outdoor concerts in New England have been sequestered to the summer for so long. With a slight chill to the air, a fire, cider donuts, and the leaves just starting to change color, late September is quite literally perfect. The sound of crickets (or frogs?) accompanying the music was lovely. Plus, MorganEve Swain's dog Zed joined in at some points, which was impossibly charming.

Friday, September 24, 2021

Kitner - "Malden, MA"

Photo by Brittany Rose Queen

It's been said that Boston's Kitner were created out of a love of both The Get Up Kids and The Replacements, which you're going to hear all over the band's music. Their latest single, "Malden, MA," also brings in some Dinosaur Jr love into the fold. The song starts off with some Bruce Springsteen style harmonica, but then the alt-rock kicks in and the song truly kicks off. If a song is going to be inspired by Dino Jr, it's going to need some huge guitar solos and "Malden, MA" provides those. As a Dinosaur Jr aficionado, I'm going to say the song sounds like post-Lou Barlow Dinosaur Jr around the time of "Feel the Pain" and "Start Choppin'." If you've been waiting for a full on Get Up Kids/Replacements/Springstreen/Dino Jr mash up, you're finally in luck!

You can listen to "Malden, MA" below. Shake the Spins (which will also songs named after such New England based places as Beth Israel, Orient Heights, and New Haven, CT) is due out October 1 on Relief Map Records. You can pre-order a copy here. For more on Kitner, check out the band's Facebook and Twitter.

Cuffed Up - "Bonnie"

Photo by Ana Karotkaya

Post punk has been having a huge resurgence the past few years, but no one has been doing it quite like Cuffed Up. The Los Angeles based band just released a new single, "Bonnie." It's definitely a post punk song, but it shatters what you would normally consider to be the genre. There's an intensity throughout the entire song, even during the more melodic pop leaning parts. But the song doubles down on the noise with plenty of classic indie rock feedback and forces in some grunge style crunching guitar. Post punk isn't usually this heavy or hard rocking, and it never combines this level of heavy with pop hooks. Cuffed Up are going to have some serious buzz behind them sooner than later.

The band explains how the new song is inspired by an alternate timeline Bonnie and Clyde:

""Bonnie” is an anti-love anthem about the grief and pitfalls of a serious relationship crumbling due to lies and deceit. This is explored through the eyes of Bonnie (of Bonnie & Clyde fame), in an alternative universe where Clyde selfishly leaves Bonnie for dead. Bonnie is arrested and she decides to give Clyde up to the cops out of pure spite. Not because he left her in a dangerous situation — purely because of the end of their romantic, albeit toxic relationship."

You can watch the video for "Bonnie" below. Asymmetry is due out October 22 on Royal Mountain Records. You can pre-order/pre-save a copy here. For more on Cuffed Up, check out the band's website. Upcoming tour dates opening for The Joy Formidable are below the video.

11/26 - The Crocodile - Seattle, WA
11/27 - Doug Fir Lounge - Portland, OR
11/29 - The Independent - San Francisco, CA
11/30 - The Roxy Theatre - Los Angeles, CA
12/02 - Crescent Ballroom - Phoenix, AZ
12/04 - Bluebird Theater - Denver, CO
12/05 - The Riot Room - Kansas City, MO
12/07 - Turf Club - Minneapolis, MN
12/09 - Lincoln Hall - Chicago, IL
12/10 - A&R Music Hall - Columbus, OH
12/11 - Thunderbird Music Hall - Pittsburgh, PA
12/12 - 9:30 Club - Washington, DC
12/13 - The Sinclair - Boston, MA
12/14 - Bowery Ballroom - New York, NY
12/16 - Underground Arts - Philadelphia, PA
12/17 - Empire Underground - Albany, NY
12/18 - Higher Ground Showcase Lounge - Burlington, VT

Forgotten Friday: Kenickie - At The Club

Forgotten Fridays is an occasional feature here at If It’s Too Loud... where we go back and find the lost records of our glory days. We played these on our college radio shows, put them on countless mix tapes, and then forgot they existed. We go back and remind you of their existence, and help decide if they were any good.

Way back in the 1900s, if we had never heard of an opening band we had virtually no way of checking them out before the show. You either got there late to miss them or watched them blindly. Either way it was a roll of the dice since you could miss out on a life changing opening (Mogwai opening for Pavement comes to mind) or sit through the worst thirty to sixty minutes of your life. When I saw that dog. at The Middle East in Cambridge back in 1997 (I think?), I got there early enough to see Kenickie. It wasn't life changing, but I came back with a band I played constantly on my college radio show for the rest of the year.

Kenickie (obviously named after the character from Grease) lasted a mere four years and put out two albums. Hailing from Sunderland, they got pumped into the Britpop genre, which is pretty fair but they also combined pop punk and power pop into their sound. Their 1997 debut album At The Club is a combination of hyper Britpop singles mixed with some more lowkey power pop/alt-rock album tracks. There's a lot of electronic experimentation going on here, which makes sense in the post-Trainspotting scene. 

Listening to At The Club in 2021, it's surprising how well it holds up. The big singles, "In Your Car" and "Punka," seem a bit more dated than the rest, but that's only because all Britpop does in retrospect. The rest of the album definitely sounds like the mid-late 90's, which is when it was made, after all. It's shocking how many sounds this album encompasses. It bounces wildly between indie rock, Britpop, power pop, post-grunge, etc. from one song to another. While I consider that a huge plus, I wonder if the genre hopping turned off some listeners at the time. The crowd at The Middle East was an ultra-hipster one that didn't seem amused at a band that existed for pure fun. It's rare that I would have been the least jaded in a crowd, but I'm glad I came out of that night with a love of Kenickie.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

The Electric Petals - "Cherry Red"

Photo via Facebook

The latest single from The Electric Petals is going to remind you of Iggy Pop, and with good reason: "Cherry Red" is written as an homage to Iggy's period of time working with David Bowie in Berlin. While the song comes across as more modern than the classic period of 1977-1978, The Electric Petals nail the slinky and groovy aspects of Iggy's late 70's music. It could be the horn, but this is also giving me some Morphine vibes as well. 

In a Facebook post, the band explains the new song:

"Cherry Red paints a picture of stumbling into a dark and dingy alleyway door lit up with red light. Once stepping through the door, you feel energized and free, dancing in a dark room where you can only make out other dark silhouettes. It’s a feeling and experience that is few and far between at the moment and we wanted to bring that back: the exotic feeling of exploring an unknown city alone and stumbling into a hole in the wall that turns into an amazing night."

You can listen to "Cherry Red" below. Wild at Heart is due out sometime this Fall. For more on The Electric Petals, check out the band's website.


Photo via Facebook

Boston's Oompa is back with a new single. "OUTTA PATIENCE" would normally be a little too modern mainstream hip hop for my own personal taste, but this is Oompa who just can not make a great song. It's a fast paced track that gets a little more R&B or EDM than I would normally like, but Oompa keeps just enough of a hip hop edge in her verses to keep "OUTTA PATIENCE" great. This is the perfect kind of song to make both The Kids and us crusty old music fans happy. This is just a wonderfully fun modern hip hop song, and sometimes this is just the thing that we need.

You can listen to "OUTTA PATIENCE" below. Unbothered is due out October 1, with a release party on October 8 at The Paradise in Boston. For more on Oompa, check out the artist's website.

Heather Maloney - "Perch-less Bird"

Northampton, MA's Heather Maloney is known for crafting absolutely beautiful modern folk music, and her latest single is a perfect example. "Perch-less Bird" is perfect folk/pop. Maloney's vocals are truly the focus of the song with string arrangements accompanying a dance friendly beat. As the song goes on, it ever so slowly moves from a folk song to more of a pop/dance track. Maloney crafted this as a break up song, and the way it goes from melancholy to joyful seems to match the path of a break up in an ideal way.

In a press release, Heather Maloney says of the new song:

“When I originally sat down to write this song, I was giving myself a songwriting challenge to write a 'break-up' song because I’d never written one before. But the more I thought about it, I realized how many break-up songs have a clear victim/villain, and that they always seem to revolve around one very common theme: blame. In an effort to turn the camera away from whoever the finger is pointing at and focus on the finger-pointing itself, I ended up writing this song about blame and it’s role in our failed relationships. How tempting it is, how destructive it is, how effective it is at prohibiting us from the growth, peace, closure and relief that come with real accountability."

You can listen to "Perch-less Bird" below. The song is out now as a single via Signature Sounds. You can get a copy over at Bandcamp. For more on Heather Maloney, check out the artist's website.

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

This Lonesome Paradise - "Needles & Pines"

Astoria, OR's This Lonesome Paradise make Americana, for lack of a better term. I only say that because we cover a lot of Americana here, and their new single "Needles & Pines" lands squarely in Americana, but it doesn't really sound like anything we've covered before. The song is an extremely dark version of the genre. Today is the first day of Autumn, and this is a perfect song to post for that. This is the soundtrack to chilly temperatures, earlier sunsets, trudging through leaves in the woods, and all around creepiness. "Needles & Pines" is a combination of dark lyrics with darker vocals, wailing harmonicas, and everything dripping in reverb that has us desperate for more.

You can watch the video for "Needles & Pines" below. Electric Dreams is due out on October 31 on American Standard Time Records. You can pre-order your copy over at Bandcamp. For more on This Lonesome Paradise, check out the band's website.

Buffalo Nichols - "How To Love"

Photo by Merrick Ales

Buffalo Nichols is an impossibly captivating performer. I discovered him opening for Drive-By Truckers, and anyone who can win over a crowd waiting for ear-splitting Southern rock with quiet solo blues as an unknown is a truly special performer. For a taste of the Nichols' live experience, you need to check out the live video of his latest single. "How To Love" is masterful. It's played with a guitar that seems wonderfully slightly out of tune. Nichols' voice sounds like it is coated with both honey and whiskey on this one. It's a beautiful song that's just rough around the edges enough to keep it interesting.

In a press release Buffalo Nichols says of the new song:

Here I'm exploring the necessity of empathy and attempting to better understand human behavior. One can be overly compassionate and forgive harm done in situations where boundaries should have been set.”

You can watch the video for "How To Love" below. Buffalo Nichols' self-titled debut album is due out October 15 on Fat Possum Records. You can pre-order/pre-save a copy here. For more on Buffalo Nichols, check out the artist's website. Upcoming tour dates (once again opening for Drive-By Truckers) are below the video.

10/2/21 - St Louis, MO – The Pageant*
10/3/21 - Nashville, TN – 3rd & Lindsley
10/4/21 - Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium*
10/5/21 - Lexington, KY – The Burl
10/6/21 - Indianapolis, IN – The Vogue*
10/7/21 - Chicago, IL – The Hideout
10/8/21 - Chicago, IL – The Vic*
10/9/21 - St Paul, MN – Palace Theatre*
10/10/21 - Iowa City, IA – Englert Theatre*
10/12/21 - Madison, WI – Barrymore Theatre*
10/14/21 - Columbus, OH – Newport Music Hall*
10/15/21 - Pittsburgh, PA – Mr Smalls*
10/16/21 - Cleveland, OH – House of Blues*
10/19/21 - Detroit, MI – Majestic*
10/20 - Cincinnati, OH – MOTR Pub
10/21/21 - Knoxville, TN – Bijou Theatre*
10/22/21 - Birmingham, AL – Avondale Brewing*
10/23/21 - Asheville, NC – Rabbit Rabbit*
11/3/21 - Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Bowl*
11/4/21 - Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Bowl*
11/5/21 - Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Bowl*
11/6/21 - Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Bowl*
11/8/21 - Wilmington, DE – The Queen*
11/9/21 - Washington, DC – Songbyrd
11/10/21 - Winston-Salem, NC – The Ramkat*
11/11/21 - Charleston, SC – Charleston Music Hall*
11/12/21 - Atlanta, GA – Variety Playhouse*
11/13/21 - Atlanta, GA – Variety Playhouse*
11/15/21 - Little Rock, AR – Revolution Music Room*
11/16/21 - Denton, TX – Andy’s
11/17/21 - Dallas, TX – Granada Theater*
11/18/21 - Austin, TX – Scoot Inn*
11/19/21 - Austin, TX – Scoot Inn*
11/20/21 - New Orleans, LA – Tipitina's*
*supporting Drive-By Truckers

Weakened Friends - "Quitter"

Photo by Adam Parshall

I've adored Weakened Friends for years now, and it feels like it's been forever since we've had new music from the Maine trio. I knew new music was imminent, but have been a little nervous since the band has kept insisting everyone was going to hate their new music. If "Quitter" is anything like the upcoming album, there's no chance in hell we're not going to love it. "Quitter" is everything we've come to love about Weakened Friends. It's a modern take on classic 90's indie rock, except even catchier and fun. Sure, maybe this one delves into pop territory a little deeper than we're used to, but longtime fans are going to love this song.

You can watch the video for "Quitter" below. It was filmed at Funtown Splashtown U.S.A. in Saco, ME just to make it as Maine as possible. Quitter is due out November 19 on Don Giovanni Records and Big Scary Monsters. You can pre-save/pre-order your copy here. For more on Weakened Friends, check out the band's website.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Wine Lips - "Eyes"

Photo by Drew Snyder

Toronto's Wine Lips would be a huge Buzz Bin band if MTV still did such things. Their new single, "Eyes," is this fast and frenetic under two minutes song that somehow isn't quite punk. Sure, loud and fast and under two minutes usually signifies a punk song, but "Eyes" is far too upbeat to be punk. It's this indie rock rager that is impossible to resist dancing to. It's catchy and almost pop just by how much fun this song is, but with all the sounds and delights of indie rock. Wine Lips are going to be one of those bands you'll hear a lot from in the next year or so.

Vocalist Cam Hilborn says of the new song:

Eyes is a song about feeling burnt out creatively, mentally and physically. Something so many of us can relate to, even more so over the past year and a half. It sheds light on situations where you find yourself powering through the days with different coping methods brought on by late nights, alcohol and promiscuity, and seeing how far you can push the limits of your body before you find yourself defeated and broken down.” 

You can watch the video for "Eyes" below. Mushroom Death Sex Bummer Party is due out October 29 on Stomp Records. You can pre-order a copy over at Bandcamp. For more on Wine Lips, check out the band's Facebook and Twitter.

Steph Green - "Next Place"

Photo by Costello.

Steph Green came to our attention since she played steel guitar on Pony Hunt's "That Feelin'" earlier this year. We love that song (and Pony Hunt's album), so of course we're going to check out Steph Green's solo work! "Next Place" has some similarities to Pony Hunt. They both have a little bit of a crooner meets modern indie vibe to them, but while Pony Hunt goes a little more on the folk side, Green goes more 90's indie rock. Green's vocal delivery on "Next Place" has this wonderfully odd mixture of doo wop meets slacker. Musically the song has crunching slacker guitars that are just slightly off kilter. The whole thing feels like a band like Pavement being fronted by Julia Jacklin or Molly Burch.

You can watch the video for "Next Place" below. Thanks for That is due out January 14 on Mashed Potato Records. For more on Steph Green, check out the artist's website.

Live Shows: Juliana Hatfield and Stars Like Ours, ONCE at Boynton Yards, Somerville, MA 9/19/21

I've obviously been a Juliana Hatfield fan for decades at this point, but have seen her live only a handful of times. Seeing her at ONCE back in February of 2020 was one of my last shows in the before times. I saw that she was playing ONCE's outside venue on Sunday. I desperately wanted to attend, especially since I have no idea what will be happening with ONCE after the month runs out, but it didn't work out with my schedule. Of course, after I stumbled on free last minute tickets, I decided to drag my almost thirteen year old daughter out with me for this one. Hey, she's suddenly getting into a lot of what she would consider oldies on her own, so why not, right?

Juliana Hatfield was originally supposed to tour with Soul Asylum and Local H, so Sunday night's show was a one off. Judging by the setlist, this was a night of what Juliana Hatfield wanted to play. Although she released the excellent album Blood back in May, she only played one or two songs off the album. She didn't even have any copies to sell at the show, because she said the audience paid enough for the tickets. (I feel obligated to mention that tickets were only $15.00.) Last year's show included a bunch of covers off her recently released Olivia Newton-John and The Police tribute albums, but she only played three of these songs. Even the hits were sparse. She played "My Sister" as her second song of the night, but left out "Universal Heart-Beat" and "Spin the Bottle." She also didn't play anything off 1998's fantastic Bed. Instead she focused on newer songs, with three coming off 2019's Weird and two off 2017's Pussycat. She did attempt "Live On Forever" off 1995's Only Everything at a fan's request, but bailed after a few lines as it was "too rusty."

Of course, in 2021 at a show in Boston, Juliana Hatfield is going to do no wrong for the fans in attendance. This was a crowd of Juliana Hatfield die hards who know every single song she was playing and are going to relish in the deep cuts. Most of these people have been seeing her play for well over two decades and are going to appreciate the rarely heard newer songs more than the classics. It's not like Hatfield has ever put out a bad album, and her newer releases have been stellar. This wasn't a crowd looking to relive their college days. Judging by how many audience members I recognized from seeing at a few hundred other shows, these are music fans who just want to see good music live. One interesting (and fabulous) cover she pulled out was of The Lemonheads' "Hospital." The Car Button Cloth song is a favorite of mine, and surprising since it's not from It's a Shame About Ray which featured Juliana Hatfield.

One thing I never noticed before is just how talented Hatfield is as a guitarist. She cut loose on some of the most interesting solos I've seen live in ages. She has a very J Mascis feel to her guitar playing, just with fewer flourishes. But, seriously, Hatfield can shred live.

Apologies to opener Charmed & Strange. Besides not wanting to get to the venue too early and burning out my kid, we missed them. Stars Like Ours are a band to watch in Boston. They had an early Superdrag meets The Donnas sound to them, and had a blast on stage. Their joy in playing was infectious and quickly spread throughout the crowd. They also busted out a cover of Soul Asylum's "Somebody to Shove." I don't think I've ever seen a band cover that specific forgotten favorite live, but more bands truly should.

I was worried my daughter got bored by the end of the show, but she repeatedly assured me she wasn't. It was the first time I dragged her out to an all-ages show, and hopefully won't be the last even if it was a school night. She even asked me to send her some Juliana Hatfield songs, so the night was a success!

Monday, September 20, 2021

The Exbats - "Coolsville USA"

Of course The Exbats wrote a song called "Coolsville USA." The father/daughter team of Inez and Kenny McClain (who have added Bobby on bass) have always had a retro cool vibe. "Coolsville USA" goes full on 60's groovy psychedelic pop. It seriously sounds like it could have come straight off of an old Nuggets compilation. This is as poppy as garage rock gets, with amazing harmonies and even has a 60's monster subject. But, somehow The Exbats keep it from being a pure retro song. Something about it has a but of a modern feel to it although it is just soaking in 60's groove.

You can listen to "Coolsville USA" below. Now Where Were We is due out October 22. You can pre-order the album on the band's Bandcamp. For more on The Exbats, check them out on Facebook.

Placebo - "Beautiful James"

When I first discovered Placebo opening for Weezer way back in 1996, I had no idea I'd be far more excited for new music from Placebo than I would be for Weezer twenty five years later. But here we are. This is the band's first new music since 2013's Loud Like Love and will be from the band's upcoming eighth album. "Beautiful James" is exactly what we would expect to hear from Placebo in 2021. It's a huge epic glammed out power ballad that's as stunningly beautiful as it is just a force of pure rock. It's the kind of song that's screaming out to be played in packed arenas, or at least larger clubs when they come over to America. I'm not typically a fan of huge arena rock sounds, but this is Placebo we're talking about. They've given us a quarter of a century of amazing music, and they're not stopping any time soon.

You can watch the video for "Beautiful James" below. The song is available now via SO Recordings. You can get a copy here. For more on Placebo, check out the band's website.

Friday, September 17, 2021

Baabes - "Greaseballs to Glitters"

Boston's Baabes are back with another filthy protopunk garage rocker. "Greaseballs to Glitters" is just straight up rock 'n' roll. There is nothing fancy going on here. Baabes are just straight up playing punk laced rock music loud and fast. This is the kind of music that might only be legally allowed to be played live in Allston. It's high energy, beer and sweat soaked rock music. If you went to a Baabes show and didn't end up with beer spilled all over you, you'd be disappointed.

You can watch the video for "Greaseballs to Glitters" below. The song is currently available as a single via Riot Records with a full length due out later this Fall. For more on Baabes, check out the band's Facebook.

Aaron Lee Tasjan Covers Neal Casal

Photo via Facebook

To honor the late Neal Casal, The Neal Casal Music Foundation and Royal Potato Family have put together a massive forty one track tribute album. The latest song is "Traveling After Dark" which is covered by Aaron Lee Tasjan. Listening to the two songs back to back and "Traveling After Dark" may have been the perfect song for Tasjan to cover. Casal's version is a singer/songwriter folk-ish song with some serious pop leanings. Tasjan's version is basically exactly the same but with just a little more twang. Both are gorgeous songs that you're going to need to check out immediately. 

You can watch the video for Aaron Lee Tasjan's cover of "Traveling After Dark" below. Highway Butterfly: The Songs of Neal Casal is due out November 12 and will also feature Casal songs covered by Susan Tedeschi & Derek Trucks, Bob Weir, Hiss Golden Messenger, Fruit Bats, Steve Earle and the Dukes, Billy Strings, J Mascis, Dori Freeman, Puss N Boots, and more. You can pre-order the album here. For more on The Neal Casal Music Foundation, check out their website.

Jackson+Sellers - "Hush"

Photo by Ashley Osborne

Despite my expectations, I've adored the two previous singles from the duo Jackson+Sellers, aka Aubrie Sellers and Jade Jackson. Their previous singles have been a combination of country, pop, garage rock, and grunge. They've been what would normally be a little too shiny and pop for me, but something about them has been irresistible to me. The duo's latest, "Hush," strips away the harder rock edge and leaves a dark country/pop ballad. Putting the word pop anywhere near country is usually off putting for me, but "Hush" is a gorgeous song, and I don't think I'll ever be able to avoid Jackson+Sellers' vocal harmonies. Plus, there is just that little something the two have together that is just pure magic.

You can listen to "Hush" below. Breaking Point is due out October 22 on Anti- Records. You can pre-order your copy here. For more on Jackson+Sellers, check out the artist's website.

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Dos Santos - "A Tu Lado"

Photo by Victor Duarte

We don't cover a lot of world music here at If It's Too Loud..., but something about Dos Santos just works for me. The Chicago based alt-Latinx band just released a new single, "A Tu Lado," which translates to "by your side." While the song is obviously a Latinx music song, it doesn't sound like any typical Latinx music I've ever heard. It's takes a traditional Latin groove and gives it a psychedelic alt-rock edge. "A Tu Lado" is an irresistible song, even if you're not a world music fan. 

Bandleader Alex Chavez says of the new song:

We walk, march, and travel across these thresholds so that we may come to know the truth about our pasts—in the hopes of inching closer to futures that are not quite in view, of inching closer to a place being dreamed within the dream, that nonetheless exists outside the dream… And in that unbridled desire we discover the promise of these unknown paths only by walking along them at each other’s side.

You can watch the video for "A Tu Lado" below. City of Mirrors is due out October 15 on International Anthem. You can pre-order the album over at the label's Bandcamp. For more on Dos Santos, check out the band's website.

The Cutthroat Brothers and Mike Watt - "Devil in Berlin"

The trio of The Cutthroat Brothers and Mike Watt released their debut album earlier this year on Record Store Day, but somehow they're already back with new music and a second album due out before the end of the year. (This seems to be fairly standard for The Cutthroat Brothers as this will be their fifth album in just three years.) "Devil in Berlin" is a dirty blues based punk stomper. It has far more groove in it than your standard punk song and is heavy on the fuzz. If your ideal punk is more along the lines of The Cramps or The Stooges, chances are this is gonna be the song for you.

You can watch the video for "Devil in Berin" below. Devil in Berlin, the album, is due out December 2nd on Hound Gawd! Records. You can pre-order the album here. For more on The Cutthroat Brothers, check out the band's website.

Honeyglaze - "Burglar"

Photo by Holly Whitaker

South London's Honeyglaze formed as a trio since vocalist and guitarist Anouska Sokolow didn't want to be a solo artist. The band first met at a rehearsal three days before they played a gig at The Windmill in Brixton. The band has drawn comparisons to artists such as Julia Jacklin and Haley Heynderickx. Listening to their new single, "Burglar," those comparisons are fair. But not completely. Sokolow does have some of Heynderickx's vocal delivery, but Jacklin and Heynderickx have more of a folk base while Honeyglaze is a little more indie rock, albeit with some tinges of folk. "Burglar" has this almost hypnotic quality, especially as the song goes on and the instrumental parts kick in. It's a fairly laid back to mid-tempo song while it does gain a bit more pep as it swirls around you towards the ending. If "Burglar" is any indication, Honeyglaze are a band we're going to be paying a lot of attention to!

The band says of the new song:

“Burglar is based around a Bukowski poem. It feels like being half-awake before dawn and waiting alone for the clarity of morning. It drifts between calm and anxiety, between dream and consciousness.”

You can watch the video for "Burglar" below. The song is available now as a single via Speedy Wunderground. For more on Honeyglaze, check out the band on Facebook and Twitter.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Carissa Johnson - "The Sound"

Carissa Johnson is officially one of the greatest rock songwriters currently active in Boston. Obviously her latest single, "The Sound," is going to be fantastic, we all know that. The only surprising thing about the new song is how New Wave it is. It starts off with an ominous synth line that sounds like a church organ. From there it's met with a driving beat and Johnson's vocals. Johnson is one of those singers I liked but didn't love at first, but the more I listen to her music the more her voice becomes one of my favorites. Despite how synth heavy "The Sound" is, this isn't an 80's throwback at all. Somehow Johnson has created a synth heavy New Wave song that sounds right at home in 2021.

You can watch the video for "The Sound" below. Blue Hour is due out November 12. The album can be pre-ordered here. For more on Carissa Johnson, check out the artist's website.

Abby Huston - "Promise"

Photo by Tyler Evans

Normally I wouldn't expect to like a song described as alternative, indie, and easy listening, but then I heard the latest from Abby Huston. The Richmond, VA based artist has released "Promise." The song isn't exactly what you have in mind when you hear the term easy listening, but it's not exactly not easy listening, either. The song has a strong R&B base over a more indie sound. It takes the groove of R&B and mixes it with the feel and edge of indie. It's truly a unique sound, and a song like "Promise" has a nearly unlimited potential to crossover into different fandoms.

Abby Huston says of their new single:

"It's kinda funny, but this song came out of me in a vision where I imagined myself as a TV-drama, brokenhearted, boy band type character. At the time Cam and I were watching a lot of Gilmore Girls during studio meal breaks, and watching the show as a kid, I'd always loved this bad boy character, Jessie, which cracks me up now...Cam stepped out for a minute to catch up with his sister and the mood and lyrics came over me. When he came back and I sang it for him and he brought in these keys that hit like the change of the seasons and the song developed from there. It reminds me of slow sunny days in our Richmond outskirts and finding things we can eat growing outside and playing pokemon emerald for the first time and tall grass and dogs and cats and our cars failing in rainstorms or sunshine."

You can listen to "Promise" below. AH HA is due out October 22 on Egghunt Records. You can pre-order a copy over at Bandcamp. For more on Abby Huston, be sure to check out their Facebook.