Friday, March 24, 2023

Sunshine Riot - "Room to Moan"

Photo courtesy Sunshine Riot

For their latest single, Boston's Sunshine Riot are still maintaining their neo-grunge sound, but it's softened a wee bit. Frontman Jonny Orton is going full Cobain on the vocals of "Room to Moan," but musically the song comes across a little more reserved and almost pop based. To me, this song sounds like if Nirvana showed up for Unplugged with electric instruments but decided to play them quietly... except for Dave Grohl who is still gonna go all out. It's a harsh and reflective power ballad that still contains more than a little beauty. It's also the neo-grunge song that feels most like a grunge song.

Part of the intense grunge vibes in "Room to Moan" are due to the subject matter. Jonny Orton explains:

“There's a line in Soundgarden's ‘The Day I Tried to Live’, it goes ‘The lives we make / Never seem to get us anywhere but dead’. It always struck me. There is something gripping about that lyric – I think we all do tend to make a life, at least in part, because we don't want to think about the one certainty that makes us alive. Death is an awfully scary thing – I'm not sure what comes next. I hope it's not nothing, forever.”

You can listen to "Room to Moan" below. The Steve Albini recorded Loud, Bright and Violent is due out April 21. For more on Sunshine Riot, check out the band's website.

The Murlocs - "Initiative"

Photo by Izzie Austin

When it came time to craft their new album, Australia's The Murlocs decided to create a country rock record along the lines of The Byrds' Sweetheart of the Rodeo. Once you listen to their new single, you'll be able to judge if they did or not. "Initiative" is a cosmic country song that is truly cosmic. A lot of the genre adds in just a little psychedelia for flavoring, but The Murlocs dumped the whole thing into their little country rock song. It's a rambling song that just kind of meanders around. It's the kind of song that's trying to hold it together and come across as normal, but we all know what it's been up to.

Ambrose Kenny-Smith (vocals, guitar, harmonica) says of the new song:

“It’s about recognizing the need to start taking responsibility for your life instead of always living in the now and killing all your brain cells along the way. Not everyone wants the big family and the big house with the white picket fence. Everything happens for a reason and sometimes you need to take things more seriously and make a few power moves in life to find out what comes next in the crystal ball.”

You can watch the video for "Initiative" below. Calm Ya Farm is due out May 19 on ATO Records, and can be pre-ordered here. For more on The Murlocs, check out the band's website.

Eddie Japan featuring Greg Hawkes - "Time Machine"

Photo by Joshua Pickering

Eddie Japan have been kicking around the Boston music scene for at least a decade now (they won the Rock and Roll Rumble back in 2013). For their latest single, the aptly named "Time Machine," they brought in Greg Hawkes of The Cars, which is truly a dream pairing. Eddie Japan have long seemed like a band out of time. The new song combines New Wave, pop rock, glam, art-pop, etc. to create this sound that's a modern take on the 1980's. This is a ridiculously fun theatrical pop song that both is and isn't an 80's throwback. It's heavily inspired by that decade, but it doesn't quite sound like music released back then. Eddie Japan make music that isn't going to fit any label cleanly, and that's half the fun. Plus, anyone that lets us hear Greg Hawkes on a synthesizer is ok in our book!

Vocalist and songwriter David Santos says of the new song:

“The song is about trying to get back to that early stage of a relationship when everything is magical – the rush of new love. It’s sort of the flip side, thematically, to the first single ‘Walk Away,’ wherein the relationship is coming to an end. The male character in the song/relationship realizes the error of his ways and wishes he could start over via time travel, figuratively speaking. We’ve probably all wished we had a time machine for one reason or another.”

You can listen to "Time Machine" below. Pop Fiction is due out on April 28 via Rum Bar Records. For more on Eddie Japan, check out their website.

Gal Pal - "Angel in the Flesh"

Photo by Ry Essi

The three members of Gal Pal met in college where they all lived on the same floor of their dorm. The trio learned their instruments together and released their debut album back in 2017 while still in college. It's been six years since then, but the Los Angeles based band is finally back with a new album due in June. The first single off of that album, "Angel in the Flesh," is a dark and moody take on shoegaze mixed with the harder fuzz of grunge. However, the vocals are lush and gorgeous. They mix that dreamy quality of shoegaze vocals, but more along the lines of Mazzy Star's Hope Sandoval. "Angel in the Flesh" is this bouncy, moody, noisy, and beautiful single. Gal Pal borrow from multiple related genres, taking the best parts of them all for a killer new single.

Nico Romero says of his band's new single:

“I grew up listening to a lot of pop punk and emo bands. I was a big fan of labels like Fueled By Ramen and Decaydance as a kid. I think this song definitely comes from that background a bit. It’s easy for me to want to sing about crushes and longing because it’s a fun feeling to indulge in and romanticize, even when it hurts.” 

You can watch the video for "Angel in the Flesh" below. This and Other Gestures is due out June 2. For more on Gal Pal, check them out on Instagram and Twitter.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Josienne Clarke - "Words Were Never the Answer"

Photo by Alec Bowman_Clarke

The latest from Josienne Clarke is a short and simple folk song that will enrapture you in less than two minutes. "Words Were Never the Answer" is just Clarke's vocals and an arpeggio providing music. The song is truly a showcase for Clarke's vocals, and those are enough to suck you in. Something about the song feels old fashioned and modern at the same time. This is classic folk music brought modern, sounding familiar and fresh at the same time. The only negative of the song is that it ends so abruptly that you're left desperate for more, but that's hardly a bad thing.

Josienne Clarke says of her new single:

“Nothing can be achieved with just melody and sentences, however well you structure them. You only ever make pretty shapes with pain and the best you can hope for is that it resonates somehow with someone else in some way. It’s not intended to be as bleak as that sounds; I’m making light of the foolish grandiosity that drives artistic endeavor and–to be honest–in an industry that’s often so hostile a landscape to the artist we need that kind of motivation, as ‘meaninglessly lovely’ as it is.” 

You can watch the video for "Words Were Never the Answer" below. Onliness (songs of solitude and singularity) is due out April 14 on Corduroy Punk Records. The album can be pre-ordered here. For more on Josienne Clarke, check out the artist's website.

DJ Crypt - "1999"

Any song called "1999" is going to be nostalgic, but you may not be ready for how nostalgic the latest from DJ Crypt will make you. "1999" isn't quite a mash-up or a sonic collage. Instead, it's a basic song structure with little snippets of various hip hop songs from the 90's. The pieces of the songs all invoke reminiscing or talking about the past. There are a lot that include the line "back in the day." It's a song about thinking about your past using parts of songs about thinking about the past. It's a clever and fairly cinematic technique that is going to make you reminisce just based on the samples used. 

You can listen to "1999" below. Gineses is due out April 28 on Goon Musick. For more on DJ Crypt, check out the artist on Instagram and Facebook.

Wednesday - "TV in the Gas Pump"

Photo by Zachary Chick

Wednesday have been releasing absolutely epic songs lately, but their latest is a two and a half minute sprint of a song. "TV in the Gas Pump" is an enigma of a song. It's a mid-tempo indie rock song that is almost twee in nature, except for the fact that there are bursts of indie rock noise throughout virtually the entire song. It has this element of being a sweet and pretty song while being absolutely jarring at times that make it a must listen. On one side "TV in the Gas Pump" is that kind of Americana laced indie rock that is all the rage these days, and on the other it's a swirling mess of noise. But... that's the kind of thing we love about Wednesday.

Karly Hartzman says of the new song:

This is the first song I’ve written about being on the road, and I really just wanted to collect all that imagery you ingest on tour. A few images that made it in the song include: the never ending gas station stops that blend together and the dystopian gas pump advertisements, a stressful experience in a Panera bread and a story of coming up from taking what you thought was a microdose of shrooms in a Dollar General."

You can watch the video for "TV in the Gas Pump" below. Rat Saw God is due out April 7 on Dead Oceans, and can be pre-ordered here. For more on Wednesday, check out the band's website. Upcoming tour dates are below the video.

3/31 - Athens, OH @ Ohio University (Lobster Fest)

4/1 - Athens, GA @ 40 Watt Club ^

4/26 - Atlanta, GA - Terminal West *

4/27 - Birmingham, AL - Saturn *

4/28 - New Orleans, LA - Gasa Gasa *

4/30 - Dallas, TX - Club Dada *

5/1 - Austin, TX - Mohawk *

5/3 - Albuquerque, NM - Sister *

5/4 - Tucson, AZ - Club Congress *

5/5 - Los Angeles, CA - Teragram Ballroom !

5/6 - San Francisco, CA - Independent *

5/8 - Portland, OR - Mississippi Studios *

5/9 - Vancouver, BC - Fox Cabaret *

5/10 - Seattle, WA - Neumos *

5/11 - Spokane, WA - Lucky You Lounge *

5/12-14 - Salt Lake City, UT - Kilby Block Party

5/13 - Boise, ID - The Shredder *~

5/15 - Denver, CO - Larimer Lounge *

5/17 - Kansas City, MO - recordBar *

5/18 - St. Louis, MO - Off Broadway *

5/19 - Little Rock, AR - Stickyz Rock N Roll Chicken Shack *

5/20 - Memphis, TN - Growlers *

5/21 - Nashville, TN - Basement East *

5/27 - Berlin, DE - Schokoladen

5/28 - Groningen, NL - Vera

5/29 - Amsterdam, NL - Paradiso Upstairs

5/31 - Brussels, BE - Botanique

6/1 - Paris, FR - L’International

6/3 - Barcelona, ES - Primavera Sound

6/5 - Manchester, UK - YES Basement

6/6 - London, UK - The Lexington

6/7 - Bristol, UK - Rough Trade

6/9 - Porto, PT - Primavera Sound

6/10 - Madrid, ES - Primavera Sound

6/11 - Madrid, ES - Primavera in the City

6/15 - Charlotte, NC - Neighborhood Theatre #

6/16 - Carrboro, NC - Cat’s Cradle #

6/17 - Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer @#

6/18 - Washington, DC - Black Cat #

6/20 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg #

6/21 - Cambridge, MA - Sinclair #

6/22 - Montreal, QC - Bar Le Ritz #

6/23 - Toronto, ON - Horseshoe Tavern #

6/24 - Grand Rapids, MI - Pyramid Scheme %

6/26 - Chicago, IL - Metro #$

6/27 - Milwaukee, WI - Cactus Club #

6/28 - Minneapolis, MN - Turf Club #

6/30 - Columbus, OH - Ace of Cups #

7/1 - Asheville, NC - The Orange Peel #

^ w/ Drive-by Truckers

* w/ Cryogeyser

! w/ Toner

# w/ Tenci

% w/ Advance Base

@ w/ All Dogs

~ w/ Mannequin Pussy

$ w/ Squirrel Flower

Mouraine - "Tonight"

Sudanese-Canadian rapper Mouraine has released a new single that is a bit more mainstream hip hop than we normally cover, but the Edmonton based artist puts his own unique spin on the sound. "Tonight" has that laid back, R&B heavy sound that has taken over music lately, but Mouraine has such a natural charisma that comes through in the song that makes it impossible to resist. "Tonight" will remind you a lot of an artist like Childish Gambino with its accessibility, charm, and unique vibe that makes the song stand out from others in the genre.

Mouraine says of his new song:

"This song runs through a journey from my younger days. My humble beginnings trying to adjust and fit in a new country as a refugee reaching a place where I no longer had to worry about my safety and basic survival needs, but now I had to face new struggles. It's hard to dream big when the system is set up to limit you to a stereotype. being in a dilemma of feeling grateful but still hungry for more."

You can watch the video for "Tonight" below. In Search of Gold is due out May 5, and can be pre-ordered here. For more on Mouraine, check out the artist's website.

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

First Listen: New Releases for 17 March 2023

Artist: Black Honey
Album: A Fistful of Peaches
Quick Thoughts: Been a fan of Black Honey for a bit, but wow, this album just blew me away. Lots of great rock songs from top to bottom and really not a bad listen in the bunch. In a heavy release week, this would be worth your time, never mind being one of the best of the spring.
Songs of Note: "Heavy," "Out of My Mind," "Rock Bottom," "Cut the Cord," "Weirdos"

Artist: The Van Pelt
Album: Artisans and Merchants
Quick Thoughts: I wanted to highlight this album because it's a very interesting listen this week. The best way I can describe it is if The War on Drugs was influenced more by 1980s/1990s college radio. It scratches a very specific itch for me, and I'm glad Ken sent it over to me. Really enjoyed this one.
Songs of Note: "Artisans and Merchants," "Grid," "Cold Coconuts"

Artist: Angel Snow
Album: Yesterday is Here
Quick Thoughts: Angel Snow is a folkie type that we love here, with gorgeous and accessible songs that feel ethereal and light where other artists might trend a little darker. I was really into this listen, with song after song after song that impressed, and it deserves some time in your rotation this week.
Songs of Note: "Hold On," "Jayne's Blue Wish," "In Between Love," "Make It Rain," "Yesterday is Here"

Artist: Yves Tumor
Album: Praise a Lord Who Chews But Which Does Not Consume; (Or Simply, Hot Between Worlds)
Quick Thoughts: Yves Tumor is an act I've struggled to get into over the years, but I got hooked on "Jackie" from his 2001 EP and was excited for what came next. This album? Their best yet, with a confident alt-rock sensibility that sets it apart. The first three songs, especially "Lovely Sewer" and "Meteora Blues," set a tone that carries through the entire record, and it makes it one of my favorites of the week.
Songs of Note: "Lovely Sewer," "Meteora Blues," "Operator," "Echolalia," "Fear Evil Like Fire"

Artist: 100 Gecs
Album: 10,000 Gecs
Quick Thoughts: I shouldn't like 100 Gecs. I am An Old Person, part of The Problem, and 100 Gecs makes hyperpop (or, well, approaching/adjacent to hyperpop) music that is weird and strange and unlike anything else out there. 10,000 Gecs is by far their most accessible set of songs yet, but that isn't saying much - it's harsh and all over the place, but it works and that's critical. Yeah, sometimes it feels like a funhouse ska revival, and maybe you're over the blown-out speaker sound, but you're unlikely to hear anything quite like it. Worth your time.
Songs of Note: "Dumbest Girl Alive," "Hollywood Baby," "One Million Dollars," "I Got My Tooth Removed"

Of note:

* deathcrash - Less (Gloomy and doomy in all the right ways.)
* The Band of Heathens - Simple Things
* Holy Moly and the Crackers - Solid Gold
* Death and Vanilla - Flicker
* Ailbhe Reddy - Endless Affair
* Moon Boots - Ride Away
* The Lost Days - In the Store
* Gretel Hanlyn - Head of the Love Club
* Flyying Colours - You Never Know
* Unknown Mortal Orchestra - V
* M83 - Fantasy
* Danny G and The Lasso - ASCENSION
* Genevieve Artadi - Forever Forever
* Emiliana Torrini and The Colorist Orchestra - Racing the Storm
* Fargo - Geli
* Matweeds - Hooligans in the Vestibule
* Quiz Show - Quiz Show


* Lake Haze - Coordinates of a Decaying World
* Tomer Baruch - Intercellular
* FIDLAR - That's Life
* kendall lujan - kendall lujan
* Django Django - Off Planet Part 2
* Daoi Freyr - I'm Making An Album 1/3
* Rachael Dadd - The Bridge
* Starcrawler - Acoustic Sessions
* Jodie Langford - Chaos of Time
* Brooke Bentham - Caring
* Ni'jah - Swarm
* Princess Nokia - I Love You But This Is Goodbye
* Jayla Kai - The Short Song Project II
* Maruja - Knocknarea
* Nuha Ruby Ra - Machine Like Me

Live albums/Compilations/Reissues:

* GA-20 - Live in Loveland
* Moderat - EVEN MORE D4TA

Also out:

* Daddy Long Legs - Street Sermons

OK Cool - "nissanweekends"

Photo by Kennedy Cottrell

Chicago's OK Cool have tapped into a very specific time for their latest single. "nissanweekends" sounds like that very brief time in the 90's as grunge started to fade and just before the mid 90's/late 90's alt-rock power pop took over. It still has that sludge and noise of grunge, but a slightly more pop version. It's more of a slacker style power ballad, and it has some odd little noise rock flourishes. If we need to compare it to other artists, I'm going to go with a mix of that dog, Liz Phair, and Veruca Salt. But a more modern version of those.

Haley Blomquist of OK Cool says of the new single:

“‘nissanweekends’ was written about the monotony of work and the stress that comes with balancing your time around itIt can feel like a waste of time to not be productive when there’s so many plates I’m trying to balance at once, ultimately making it hard to ever relax without feeling like ‘if I lay down, the earth will open up and leave me.’”

You can watch the video for "nissanweekends" below. fawn is due out April 28 on Take a Hike Records, and can be pre-ordered through Bandcamp. For more on OK Cool, check out the band on Instagram and Facebook.

RVG - "Squid"

Photo by Izzie Austin

Hailing from Melbourne, RVG have released a post punk song that isn't quite like what modern post punk typically sounds like. "Squid" is much more like a standard rock song than you would normally associate with the genre, and while many other Australian bands reach back to the 1990's, RVG go back further to the 1980's. "Squid" sound more like bands like Echo & The Bunnymen, The Cult, or Midnight Oil. There is even a little bit of Throwing Muses in the guitar. This is a wonderfully hypnotic song that is going to be nearly impossible to resist.

You can listen to "Squid" below. Brain Worms is due out June 2 on Fire Records. The album can be pre-ordered here. For more on RVG, check out the band's website. Upcoming tour dates are below the song.

Mon. Apr. 17 - Cardiff, UK @ Tramshed (w/ Billy Nomates)Wed. Apr. 19 - Nottingham, UK @ Rescue Rooms (w/ Billy Nomates)Thu. Apr. 20 - Manchester, UK @ New Century Hall (w/ Billy Nomates)Fri. Apr. 21 - Leeds, UK @ LUU-Stylus (w/ Billy Nomates)Sat. Apr. 22 - Glasgow, UK @ QMU (w/ Billy Nomates)Mon. Apr. 24 - Newcastle, UK @ Boiler Shop (w/ Billy Nomates)Tue. Apr. 25 - Birmingham, UK @ O2 Institute Birmingham (w/ Billy Nomates)Thu. Apr. 27 - London, UK @ O2 Forum Kentish Town (w/ Billy Nomates)Fri. Apr. 28 - Brighton, UK @ CHALK Live (w/ Billy Nomates)Sat. Apr. 29 - Bristol, UK @ Marble Factory (w/ Billy Nomates)Tue. May 2 - Paris, FR @ SupersonicThu. May 4 - Rotterdam, NL @ V11Fri. May 5 - Haldern-Rees, DE @ Haldern Pop BarSun. May 7 - Nijmegen, NL @ Merleyn

David Wax Museum - "You Must Change Your Life"

Photo by Anthony Mulcahy

We've been huge fans of David Wax Museum since well before we started this blog, and they're one of the bands we credit with inspiring us to start If It's Too Loud... It's always a thrill to bring you new music from the David and Suz, but this current round of new songs just feels special. The latest, "You Must Change Your Life," just feels like it's dying to explode into a crossover hit. This is the best the mainstream (and maybe even the pop side) of modern folk has to offer. It's an incredibly upbeat song that is practically begging to be danced to this summer in a field during one of the finer music festivals out there. Plus, the message of "You Must Change Your Life" is hitting me squarely in the middle of a mid-life crisis, so it's becoming a personal song for me, too.

You can watch the video for "You Must Change Your Life" below. You Must Change Your Life, the album, is due out May 5 and can be pre-ordered here. For more on David Wax Museum, check out the artist's website. Upcoming tour dates are below the video.

Wed, May 3 - New York, NY - Mercury Lounge

Thu, May 4 - Somerville, MA - The Armory

Fri, May 5 - Washington, D.C. - The Hamilton

Sat, May 6 - Charlottesville, VA - The Southern

Sun, May 7 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda’s

Wed, May 17 - Chicago, IL - Golden Dagger

Thu, May 18 - Milwaukee, WI - The Backroom at Colectivo

Fri, May 19 - Minneapolis, MN - Icehouse

Sat, May 20 - Columbia, MO - Rose Music Hall (outdoors) 

Giveaway: 2 Tickets for Coffin Salesman, Diablogato, & Casket Rats at Faces Taproom, Malden, MA 4/1/23

As small venues are disappearing in and around Boston, craft breweries are starting to fill that void and booking shows with local and touring artists. One of our favorites has been Faces Taproom in Malden, MA. They've been booking amazing bills there for a while now for low ticket prices and diverse acts. Plus, there's no issue with parking since there's a garage a block away! We've been lucky enough to team with RTT Presents for some giveaways of tickets for shows coming up! The first of which is the fantastic rock & roll triple bill of Coffin Salesman, Diablogato, and Casket Rats on April 1st! To win, just email us at with the subject line of "Coffin Salesman," and you'll be entered to win! We'll notify the winner the morning of March 31, so get those entries in!

To find out more info on the killer events at Faces Taproom, check out their website here.

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Lucy Kruger & The Lost Boys - "Howl"

Photo by Francis Broek

The latest from Berlin's Lucy Kruger & The Lost Boys keeps the New Wave meets industrial sound we've come to love from them, but adds a little more discordant noise to the mix. "Howl" has this intense and kind of slinky feel in a way similar to trip hop of the 90's. But there is a foreboding sound behind the song along with some No Wave and indie rock noise. It kind of sounds a little like Portishead meets Sonic Youth. This is an intense and compelling song that is undeniable in its beauty and also in its jarring qualities, and is both at the same time.

Lucy Kruger says of her band's new song:

"I spent the last three albums quietly singing about how I wanted to make a noise and, on this song, I’ve finally managed to do just that - which means, when we go on tour, I’ll have to make more noise, which is a lovely trap to have set for myself. I’m looking forward to seeing how it all goes, and how it all feels, for everyone involved."

You can watch the video for "Howl" below. Heaving is due out April 7 on Unique Records and can be pre-ordered through Bandcamp. For more on Lucy Kruger & The Lost Boys, check out the band's Facebook and Instagram.

Josie Toney - "Too Long in Life"

Just last week we brought you "City Girl Blues," the latest single from Josie Toney. She's already back with a brand new single, "Too Long in Life." While her previous single was an upbeat song mixing folk, bluegrass, and blues with a little pop, this new song is more of a torch song. It's a gorgeous song that showcases Toney's vocal talents while mixing folk, jazz, and a little pop. It stops just a little short of being a power ballad, but just barely. "Too Long in Life" is a slow burner that is endlessly compelling, and just feels like a welcoming embrace.

You can listen to "Too Long in Life" below. Extra is due out April 7 on Like You Mean It Records. For more on Josie Toney, check out the artist's website.

Lauren Early - "Good Girl Bad Boy"

Photo by Cheryl Georgette

You might know Lauren Early from her time touring in Girlpool and Surf Curse, but now the Los Angeles based artist is set to release her debut solo album. Her first single, "Good Girl Bad Boy," has this great slightly polished DIY sound to it. It reminds me of early Colleen Green, but in a more produced version. Early has a great slacker drone to her vocals that isn't usually heard outside of Gen-X, and the music has a more modern indie rock with a side of pop sound. It's a fun song that is going to suck a lot of our readers in, and will have you wanting to dive into the world of Lauren Early ASAP.

Lauren Early says of her new single:

"'Good Girl Bad Boy' was a total breakthrough for me. Its first iteration was a sad country song. Then one day I was meditating on this simple pop-punk guitar part, and the old country song poured out into this version, and it just felt like...a hit. Lyrically, it’s about the pain of love. The term 'good girl bad boy' is a good description of me. I think I’m a very empathetic and considerate person, and at the same time I’m very assertive, impatient, and fiery. It’s a weird and sometimes difficult pair to balance. The phrase is more emotional and not necessarily supposed to be, like, a queer anthem, but I like that it accidentally is that too."

You can watch the video for "Good Girl Bad Boy" below. Don't Take My Dream Away is due out May 19 on Danger Collective Records. For more on Lauren Early, check out the artist on Bandcamp and Instagram.