Friday, June 28, 2024

Hell Beach - "Weekend Crush"

Photo via Facebook

If a song has the word "weekend" in the title, it's legally obligated to be a fun song. New Hampshire's Hell Beach understand that with their latest single! "Weekend Crush" is a punk rock party jam that is just begging to be played at full volume from your car as you cruise your local beach... or while you're on your way to Target or the plant store, no judgement. Hell Beach are masters of fun pop punk songs that are still a little discordant but catchy as hell, and "Weekend Crush" fits that description perfectly. 

You can watch the video for "Weekend Crush" below. Beach World is due out August 9 on Uncle Style Records/Bad Time Records, and is available for pre-order on Bandcamp. For more on Hell Beach, check out the band on Instagram and Facebook.

Already Dead - "Something Like a War"

Photo by Dan Johnson

Already Dead have quickly become our favorite blue collar Boston punk band, and their latest solidifies that. "Something Like a War" sees the trio channeling their inner Operation Ivy. This is ska-punk that is more punk than ska. The song is fast, hard, and angry, and it's unlike anything we've heard from Already Dead before. This is the kind of song that will make even the most narrow minded old school punk fan happy, with it's gang vocals and under two minute running time that packs a ton of punches in. If you aren't excited about their new album that's due next month after hearing "Something Like a War," you're quite simply just wrong.

Vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Dan Cummings says of the new song:

“I was watching the Ken Burns documentary on baseball, and heard the Ty Cobb quote about how ‘every game is something like a war’. It immediately resonated with me for a few reasons. First it just sounds badass [laughs]. But also to describe approaching something with that kind of intensity and determination struck a chord.”

You can listen to "Something Like a War" below. Something Like a War, the album, is due out July 26. For more on Already Dead, check out the band's website. They'll be holding a release party on July 27 at Thirsty First in Lowell.

Photocomfort - "Roll"

It's been a couple of years since Justine Bowe released music with hex gf, and possibly five years since we last heard from Photocomfort. She's back with Photocomfort with a new single, "Roll." This new song is everything we love about that project, with even more to adore added in. It's a glorious experimental pop song that leans quite heavily into the pop side of that description. "Roll" is an absolutely gorgeous song that is laid back but still has enough energy to pretty much force you to move, even if it's just a little bit. Photocomfort is one of those artists with enough talent and creativity to bridge the gap between Boston's rock, pop, and hip hop communities.

Justine Bowe says of her latest single:

"This one deals with one of the more difficult themes on the record for me: loving a friend so much that you might have to let them go.  Sometimes you have to make a friendship so expansive and flexible so that a person can grow and thrive. That person might just grow so much they get out of it and walk right out the door—and you have to let them." 

You can watch the video for "Roll" below. Patron Saint is due out July 19, and is available for pre-order here. For more on Photocomfort, check out the artist's website.

Lovina Falls - "Tragedy"

Photo by Joan Hathaway

We really enjoyed last year's Calculating the Angle of Our Descent from Lovina Falls, and each time I've seen Valerie Forgione's (Mistle Thrush) new musical project, I've heartily enjoyed myself. But, her latest single is blowing all my expectations away. "Tragedy" takes the baroque pop of her album and makes it rock out. This new song starts off how we'd expect a new song from Lovina Falls to go with lovely instrumentation and harmony. And then the song takes off into a more 90's style, noisy and chaotic burst, all while keeping all of the melody and harmony intact. "Tragedy" is an intense and beautiful track that has us dying to hear even more.

Valerie Forgione says of her latest single:

“‘Tragedy’ is loud and crunchy, but it's authentic and still comes from the same place. There are similar elements that exist on Calculating the Angle of our Descent, but here they sit more at the forefront. I’m not a particularly angry person, but part of me is a little fed up with how people treat each other. So, I guess this is what comes from being fed up."

You can listen to "Tragedy" below. For more on Lovina Falls, check out the artist's website. Lovina Falls will be playing The Rockwell in Cambridge on July 6 with Parlour Bells and Happy Little Clouds, and opening for Chameleons at The Sinclair on August 10.

Thursday, June 27, 2024

Doing Anything This Weekend?: June 28-30

Doing Anything this Weekend? is a feature here at If It's Too Loud... where we feature some live shows in and on the far outskirts of the Boston area. Our main rules are that they have to be reasonably priced shows that you can attend last minute. They'll feature If It's Too Loud... approved bands, and we'll provide event links when possible. And since we're in outdoor music season, these events are weather permitting. If you're looking for last minute plans this weekend, we recommend:

Friday June 28

Emily Grogan Band, Crow Follow, CATWOLF, and Galaxy Cake at The Jungle Community Music Club, Somerville, MA

Dry Cleaning and Frog at The Paradise Rock Club, Boston, MA

Buffalo Nichols and The Glass Hours at Askew, Providence, RI

Cathedral Bells, Video Days, Middle Part, and Ex-Hyena at O'Brien's Pub, Allston, MA

TELL, The Daylillies, and Church & Puppets at Warp and Weft, Lowell, MA

Saturday June 29

Wes' Rib House Block Party with Sage Francis, Providence, RI

Nervous Eaters, Brad Marino Band, and Tiger Bomb at The Press Room, Portsmouth, NH

Tree, Scissorfight, The Long Wait, Neighborhood Shit, and Poor Impulse Control at Brighton Music Hall, Allston, MA

The Delta Generators with Barrence Whitfield and Mark Early at Warehouse XI, Somerville, MA

Tysk Tysk Task, Sapling, and Ex-Temper at The Iron Horse, Northampton, MA

Versus, Hallelujah the Hills, Lupo Citta, Mark Robinson, and FLOF at Crystal Ballroom at Somerville Theater, Somerville, MA

Lonely Leesa & The Lost Cowboys, The Daylillies, The Lights Out, and American Ocelot at Midway Cafe, Jamaica Plain, MA

Sunday June 30

Ozomatli at Bernie's Beach Bar, Hampton Beach, NH

The Party Band, Rougarou, Childern of the Flaming Wheel, FEEP, Strawberry Coffin, and Mill Pond Falls at O'Brien's Pub, Allston, MA

Highwater Haulers, Smith & Weeden, and Joy Boys at Inspiria, Providence, RI

ira glass - "where'd you get the candy baby lol"

Photo by Stalled

Here's what you need to know about Chicago's ira glass. The band was recruited via flyers that said "NOISY POST-HARDCORE INSTRUMENTALISTS DESIRED," and they recorded their upcoming EP over two days at Electrical Audio. (The EP is dedicated to the late Steve Albini.) If those two facts sound appealing, you're going to love "where'd you get the candy baby lol." It's three minutes of noisy and anxiety inducing heavy indie rock, filled with screaming vocals and abrasive guitar. It's like someone heard The Jesus Lizard and decided they were a good start. This is a bonkers song that won't be for everyone, but if you've read this far, you're going to adore it.

You can listen to "where'd you get the candy baby lol" below. compound turbulence flexing for the heat is due out July 12 on Fire Talk/Angel Tapes, and is available for pre-order through Bandcamp. For more on ira glass, check out the band on Instagram. Upcoming live dates are below the song.

Sat. June 29 - Chicago, IL @ Logan Square Arts Festival 
Fri. July 12 - Chicago, IL @ Cole’s Bar * [EP RELEASE SHOW]
Sun. July 14 - Chicago, IL @ Space.01 
Mon. July 22 - Chicago, IL @ Bookclub
Wed. July 24 - Chicago, IL @ Sleeping Village 
Sat. Aug. 17 - Chicago IL @ Cole's Bar

Peel Dream Magazine - "Live In the Gutter"

Photo by Vice Cooler

The first thing you'll notice with the new single from Peel Dream Magazine is that it sounds a lot like Stereolab. That's not meant as a bad thing, we could all use some more music that reminds us of Stereolab in our lives. But "Live In the Gutter" also swerves off in some other sonic directions. Peel Dream Magazine is much more rock based. It does have a light and airy feel to the song, but the New York band does add a little more edge to their sound. Plus, the beat adds a layer of funk over the whole thing. While the Stereolab influence is apparent, it's always good to see a band pay homage to their influences into their own sound.

Joe Stevens says of his band's new single and video:

"This video is cut from footage we filmed on a few different tours between the fall of 2023 and Spring of 2024, and I love it because it captures the amazing feeling and energy that those trips had. There's cameos from bands we were touring with like Chastity Belt and Gift, and friends like Simi Sohota from Healing Potpourri. A lot of it was shot in the Pacific Northwest and features some hikes we got to take among the dense green forests up there. I wanted to capture that stuff because this theme of "the natural world" has been jostling around my my brain for awhile and is a big part of the album. The song is meant to be a very simple statement about finding joy and wonder in life despite whatever may be on your mind. The phrase it's taken from is the trite but sweet Oscar Wilde quote 'We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars'."

You can watch the video for "Live In the Gutter" below. Rose Main Reading Room is due out September 4 on Topshelf Records and is available for pre-order here. For more on Peel Dream Magazine, check out the band on Instagram and Twitter

The Freedom Affair - "Love is Love"

Photo by Erica Joi Photography

When we bring you soul music, we tend to cover bands that sound like they're from the 60's or 70's. The Freedom Affair fits into that category, but their latest single isn't fully a throwback. Something about "Love is Love" just feels modern. The group isn't trying to mimic the classic sound of soul, but are bringing it into this century. That being said, if you love vintage soul, you're still going to end up loving "Love is Love." The song has this warmth to it that is purely irresistible. The Freedom Affair have gifted us a modern classic that virtually all music fans are going to find something to enjoy.

The Freedom Affair say of their latest single:

"'Love is Love' is a silky-smooth, mid-tempo number made for two-stepping. Its layered, unified vocals and harmonies embody the song’s theme of inclusivity. It’s a gorgeous song that invites listeners to sing along and sway with its warmth and innocence. We’re proud to celebrate love in any form it manifests, and it’s only fitting that we release this tune in June for Pride Month."

You can watch the video for "Love is Love" below. For more on The Freedom Affair, check out the artist's website.

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

First Listen: New Releases for 21 June 2024

Artist: The Shacks
Album: Big Crown Vaults Vol. 2
Quick Thoughts: "Wings" made some playlists for me a while back, and I didn't realize an album was dropping. Wow, it is good! A really solid listen from start to finish, with Isobel Campbell-esque vocals and a light touch to it that transcends the normal idea of indie twee. Produced by Leon Michels of El Michels Affair as part of the Big Crown Vaults series, I loved this a lot and it's worth your time.
Songs of Note: "For Real," "Trip to Japan," "Wings," "Crimson & Clover," "Wind," "Drone"

Artist: Your Old Droog
Album: Movie
Quick Thoughts: Everyone's so busy with the Kendrick/Drake feud and the return of Slim Shady that we've led Your Old Droog wallow in semi-obscurity. Movie is the latest in a line of albums that show he deserves to be part of the discussion, with an album that feels as much as an introduction to new listeners as it does the latest evolution for those of us who have been on the bandwagon for a while. "I Think I Love Her" is a beautiful song, "3 MILLI" a great listen, and the whole thing is among his best.
Songs of Note: "I Think I Love Her," "Mercury Thermometers," "What Else?" "3 MILLI," "DBZ"

Artist: The Greeting Committee
Album: Everyone's Gone and I Know I'm the Cause
Quick Thoughts: This album surprised me again and again. It has an radio-ready indie pop feel, but I feel like that shoehorns them into a box the group doesn't belong. The songwriting is sharp and tight, and the album shines from start to finish with memorable songs and a unique, but familiar, sound. Don't skip this one.
Songs of Note: "Cyclical," "Little Bit More," "Where'd All My Friends Go?" "Don't Talk"

Artist: Emiliana Torrini
Album: Miss Flower
Quick Thoughts: This brings me back, to an extent, because I believe I saw Torrini open for Radiohead back when the venue in Mansfield was still Great Woods (or at least still the Tweeter Center). Either way, it's been a while since we've heard from the Nordic singer-songwriter and this has some of her strongest material since "Big Jumps" made some waves a while back. Overall, really happy to hear from her again.
Songs of Note: "Lady K," "Waterhole," "Black Lion Lane"

Artist: Kate Nash
Album: 9 Sad Symphonies
Quick Thoughts: Speaking of happy to hear from her again, this is the first set of new tunes from blog favorite Kate Nash since Glow, and she hasn't lost a step in her six years away from making albums. "My Bile" is exactly the sort of anthemic setpiece we want to hear from her, and across the runtime you have so many winners that you can't help but smile (despite the downer title). Welcome back, Kate Nash.
Songs of Note: "My Bile," "Wasteman," "Ray," "Vampyre"

Artist: O.
Album: WeirdOs
Quick Thoughts: Finally, this was a revelation. WeirdOs are a European jazz duo, but that sort of buries the whole everything. It's manic, it's experimental, it's explosive, it's raw, it's sharp... it's a lot! For what is basically a two instrument jazz-punk act (sax and drums), the sound is full and neither performer takes the bulk of the spotlight - I can't imagine anyone else driving the sax this way, nor can the drums, informed heavily by EDM beats, really fall by the wayside. I can't wait to get back to this, as it's really honestly one of the best things I've heard in a while.
Songs of Note: "176," "Wheezy," "Cosmo," "Green Shirt," "Slap Juice"

Of note:

* Zan and The Winter Folk - New Morse Code (Lots to love about this rootsy effort.)
* Who's Who - Ulterior Motives (The Lost Album) (Features a previously lost title track subject to a massive internet hunt that ended in the funniest way possible.)
* The Blisks - Elixa
* Aseethe - The Cost
* Nat Harvie - New Virginity
* Joe Gittleman (ex-Bosstone) - Hold Up
* Ex-Hyena - A Kiss of the Mind
* Been Stellar - Scream from New York, NY
* Tony Trischka - Earl Jam
* Evelinn Trouble - Season Indicators
* Castle Black - The Highway at Night
* Tinkertown - American Gothic
* talker - I'm Telling You the Truth
* Homeboy Sandman - Rich II
* Magic Shoppe - Down the Wych Elm
* Kai Tak - Designed in Heaven Made in Hone Kong
* Rui Gabriel - Compassion
* Pepe Deluxe - Comix Sonix
* The Mysterines - Afraid of Tomorrows
* The Third Sound - Most Perfect Solitude
* Kronos Quartet - Outer Spaceways Incorporated
* d'Eon - Leviathan
* Pond - Stung!
* Michael Christmas - Unsexy
* Nicotine - God's Baby
* Typhoid Rosie - Last Words
* Kehlani - CRASH
* Tryp Tych Tryo - Warsaw Conjunction
* Kartell - Everything is Here


* Freshman Woes - A TRIBE CALLED FRESH
* Tom Caruana - Shaw Enuff
* Qveen Herby - The Alchemist
* Priscilla Block - PB2
* Mest - Youth
* Twit One - Crix
* The Mary Wollopers - Home Boys Home
* Brad Marino - Hot Rod Rampage
* cr1tter - yea I think
* King Krule - SHHHHHHH!
* Lebra Jolie - What Was Said?
* Young Man Winter - Leading Light

Live albums/Compilations/Reissues:

* R.E.M. - Live from the Pyramid Stage, Glastonbury Festival, June 25, 1999 (Re-issue/re-release, originally on R.E.M. at the BBC.)
* Global Underground #46: ANNA - Lisbon
* Adjunadeep Essentials 02

Also out:

* Lake Street Dive - Good Together
* Until the Ribbon Breaks - V I S I T O R

Brontez Purnell Trio - "Forgive Me, Philip"

Photo by Melissa Dale Neal

Brontez Purnell has a new 7" coming out with his band, Brontez Purnell Trio. "Forgive Me, Philip" is a reworking of a song off his 2020 EP White Boy Music, and it's a glorious burst of noisy and melodic indie rock. It's an undeniably catchy three minute burst of both dissonance and melody. It kind of sounds what I imagine early Beach Boys demos to sound like. All of the melody and harmony are right there, just under a coating of DIY fuzz. "Forgive Me, Philip" is the style of song that is both grimy and polished at the same time, which is one of our favorite sounds around these parts.

Brontez Purnell says of his band's latest single:

“So I was on my East Coast tour with a new band and was wanting to de-shape some old songs. We went to the studio with no real plan (I tend to like to keep things improvisational when working with a new band) and the result was dazzling and struck me! A more jazz-based focus for my grunge work.” 

You can watch the video for "Forgive Me, Philip" below. The 7" is due out July 23 on House of Feelings. For more on Brontez Purnell, check out the artist on Instagram.

Kim Gordon - "ECRP"

Photo by Danielle Neu

Indie rock legend Kim Gordon continues her foray into experimental electronic music with her latest single. "ECRP" was not included on Gordon's recent album The Collective, but it fits right into the sound of that album. It's filled with aggressive beats, and probably isn't as experimental as I say. "ECRP" is both a surprising direction for Gordon and a sound that makes complete sense. It also helps solidify Gordon as the former member of Sonic Youth that is making the most interesting music post split. Even if this change in sound doesn't work for you, it's still a compelling sound. And if you give it a fair chance, it's going to work for the majority of her Gordon's long term fans.

You can watch the Coco Gordon-Moore directed video for "ECRP" below. The song is available as a single via Matador Records. For more on Kim Gordon, check out the artist's website. Upcoming tour dates are below the video.

June 25 – London, UK – Koko

June 26 – Birmingham, UK – O2 Institute2 Birmingham

June 28 – Graz, AZ – Elevate Festival

June 29 – Luxembourg, LU – Siren’s Call 

June 30 – Pilton, UK - Glastonbury


July 3 – Gdynia, PL – Open’er Festival

July 5 – Roskilde, DK – Roskilde Festival

July 6 – Berlin, DE – Festaal Kreuberg

July 18 – Sydney, NSW – VOLUME at Art Gallery of NSW

July 19 – Sydney, NSW – VOLUME at Art Gallery of NSW

July 20 – Adelaide, SA – Unsound Illuminate Adelaide

July 21 – Brisbane, QLD – Open Frame Brisbane Powerhouse

July 24 – Melbourne, VIC – Northcote Theatre SOLD OUT

July 25 – Melbourne, VI – Northcote Theatre

July 28 – Naeba, JP – Fuji Rock Festival

August 2 – Incheon, SK – Pentaport

August 30 – Vancouver, BC – Commodore Ballroom

August 31 – Portland, OR – Revolution Hall

September 1 – Seattle, WA – Bumbershoot

September 27 – Pioneertown, CA – Pappy + Harriet’s

September 29 – Dana Point, CA – Ohana Festival

October 3 – Tucson, AZ – Rialto Theater

October 4 – Arcosanti, AZ – FORM Festival

October 26 – Budapest, HU – House of Music Hungary

October 28 – Milan, IT – Alcatraz

October 29 – Bern, CH – Dampfzentrale

October 30 – Munich, DE – Muffathalle

October 31 – Brussels, BE – Bozar

November 2 – Malmo, SE – Plan B

November 3 – Stockholm, SE – Slaktyrkan

November 4 – Oslo, NO – Vulkan Arena

November 5 – Gothenburg, SE – Pustervik

November 7 – Utrecht, NL – Le Guess Who

November 9 – Barcelona, ES – MIRA Digital Arts Festival

November 11 – Lisbon, PT – ZDB no Capitolio

November 17 – Mexico City, MX – Corona Capital

Shehehe - "Get On My Lawn"

If you're of a certain age, you're going to give every band out of Athens, GA a listen. Our latest discovery from Athens is Shehehe, who just released a new single, "Get On My Lawn." The song is this irresistible mixture of DIY indie punk and power pop. It has all of the aggression and creativity of indie punk but with all of the earworm inducing catchiness of power pop. It kind of sounds like a mixture of Fuzzy and Wussy with its interesting blend of both dissonance and harmony. We've called many songs the Song of the Summer this month, so let's add "Get On My Lawn" to that list!

You can watch the video for "Get On My Lawn" below. Namedroppers is due out August 23 on SAY-10 Records. For more on Shehehe, check out the artist's website.

Jimetta Rose & The Voices of Creation - "Things Are Getting Better"

Photo by Ethan DeLorenzo

Earlier this month we brought you "Portals," the latest single from Jimetta Rose & The Voices of Creation. Today they are back with the title track off their upcoming album, "Things Are Getting Better." The new song is a seven minute epic mixing house, funk, soul, hip hop, and R&B. Despite being slightly over seven minutes, "Things Are Getting Better" never overstays its welcome. Jimetta Rose & The Voices of Creation are masters of blending multiple genres in such a way that the song feels completely fresh while still being familiar. We're not typically the kind of people that are going to bring you music that is described as "spirit-listing" or "soul-stirring," but when a song is as great as this one, we can always make an exception.

Jimetta Rose says of her band's new single:

'You gotta tell it what you need it to be, gotta tell it what you need to see', the song says, and that’s just what we must do. It’s like a pep talk to the self with a melody. Shout outs to Ryan Papa Porter and Danny Janklow for the amazing brass work on this tune.”

You can listen to "Things Are Getting Better" below. Things Are Getting Better is due out July 26 on Day Dreamer, and if available for pre-order through Bandcamp. For more on Jimetta Rose & The Voices of Creation, check out the artist on Instagram and Facebook.

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Looking Glass War - "See You In Hell, Liberty Bell"

Photo via Facebook

A title like "See You In Hell, Liberty Bell" is going to immediately grab our attention since it sounds like the greatest unreleased Troma Pictures movie ever. Luckily, the latest from Looking Glass War is also a great song. The Boston band has released a glammed up post-punk anthem that is just begging to be sung along to in the finest dive bars in town. It's the style of song that is going to inspire both hyperactive pogoing and the best dance moves a crowd in Boston can muster. Singer Goddamn Glenn gives his all for "See You In Hell, Liberty Bell." This is the style of song that is almost begging to be added to Halloween playlists just by vibe alone.

You can listen to "See You In Hell, Liberty Bell" below. Saints of the Lost and Found is due out in the Fall. For more on Looking Glass War, check out the band on Instagram and Facebook.

Lutalo - "Ocean Swallows Him Whole"

Photo by Patrick McCormack

Vermont's Lutalo has released a new single from their debut album, and it's a must listen. "Ocean Swallows Him Whole" dances between the lines of 90's style indie rock and a dark version of post-punk. The song is brimming with the DIY appeal of bands like Sebadoh and Guided By Voices while having the undercurrent of dance friendly music like She Wants Revenge. Plus, there's a touch of modern, pop focused singer-songwriter in there. By borrowing from the past, Lutalo has crafted one of the more unique sounds in indie music today.

Lutalo says of their new single:

“'Ocean Swallows Him Whole' is a partial Icarus reference. It is more widely about interacting with a place, environment, or person with preconceived intentions. Going into that interaction with the thought of ‘what can I get out of this’ or ‘how can this serve my personal image.’ This ultimately consumes their true self as a means to fit in or gain personal standing. Something that is rooted in our culture, and an observation I’ve made about how people engage with popular cities and people they project ideas on to. It makes sense given our society so I want to make it clear that this isn’t a position of judgment, simply observation."

You can watch the video for "Ocean Swallows Him Whole" below. The Academy is due out September 20 on Winspear, and is available for pre-order here. For more on Lutalo, check out the artist on Instagram and Twitter. Upcoming tour dates are below the video.

08/17/24 - Crickhowell, UK @ Green Man Festival
08/31/24 - Brighton, UK @ Brighton Psych Fest
09/01/24 - Manchester, UK @ Manchester Psych Fest

Supporting Nilüfer Yanya
09/28/24 - Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts
09/30/24 - Washington, DC @ Black Cat
10/01/24 - Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel
10/02/24 - Boston, MA @ Royale
10/04/24 - Montreal, QC @ La Tulipe
10/05/24 - Toronto, ON @ Phoenix Concert Theatre
10/06/24 - Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop
10/07/24 - Chicago, IL @ Metro
10/09/24 - Nashville, TN @ Basement East
10/10/24 - Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle
10/11/24 - Atlanta, GA @ Terminal West
10/13/24 - Lawrence, KS @ Bottleneck
10/15/24 - Denver, CO @ Meow Wolf
10/16/24 - Salt Lake City, UT @ State Room
10/18/24 - Vancouver, BC @ Hollywood Theatre
10/19/24 - Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile
10/20/24 - Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom
10/22/24 - San Francisco, CA @ August Hall
10/24/24 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Fonda

Live Shows: Airiel, Blushing, Bodywah, and Bella Steele, Deep Cuts, Medford, MA 6/21/24

I normally don't like when there's a four band bill with all four bands being the same genre. Friday night at Deep Cuts was a shoegaze bill to the point that the majority of the crowd were wearing shirts for Ride, My Bloody Valentine, etc. However, all four bands played such varied styles of shoegaze that at no point did the evening feel repetitive.

First up was Bella Steele. The Boston band play a heavier, more sludgy version of shoegaze. Some might consider it more sludge metal than shoegaze, but I'm going to still call them shoegaze. I was completely unfamiliar with Bella Steele before they took the stage, and I became a fan almost instantly. They were impossible to ignore and commanded attention. Luckily, they were great and quickly converted the crowd that was mostly there for a lighter, poppier version of the genre. It was one of those times that a local opener had an entire crowd talking about them for pretty much an entire break between bands. 

Bodywash played next, and I had almost forgotten about the Quebec band before the show. When I saw the flyer, I was delighted to finally see them perform live, and didn't realize they were playing until the last minute. They played a lighter, more dream gaze sound than Bella Steele. That is, until they didn't. Most of their set were airy and hazy songs that seemed to float around you, but some of their songs were a heavier, more alt-rock style. Both sounds from Bodywash were done impeccably and accented the other perfectly. I'm thrilled to have Bodywash back on my radar, and to dive back into their catalog.

Next up was Blushing, the band I wanted to see the most. The Austin band play a more alt-rock style of shoegaze. It's a little more aggressive, but it's also a fun sound. In fact, Blushing seemed to be having more fun than any shoegaze band I've ever seen live. We've compared them to Veruca Salt playing shoegaze, and that description fits their live set aptly. It was face melting 90's style alt-rock with a haze over the whole thing, and the crowd was into it. It could just have been my own bias as a fan, but they seemed to have had the most diehard fans, and the new ones became diehards by the end. They closed out their set with "Dream Merchants" with both Christina and Noe Carmona playing in the crowd, which just endeared them to us all even more so.

Airiel closed out the evening. The Chicago band's Bandcamp description proclaims "It's loud. It's pretty. You can dance to it." I don't think a Bandcamp description has ever described a band's sound so perfectly. Their version of shoegaze was mysteriously dance friendly without losing any of the oomph of the genre. It was loud, gorgeous music that enraptured the audience, who equally stood there in awe and danced their hearts out. The chin stroking audiences that typically fill up shoegaze shows were nowhere to be seen. Airiel bring out fans who want to rock the fuck out when they're not having their minds blown.

Monday, June 24, 2024

Oahk - "Sea Kelp"

Photo via A Curious Production

It's been a little while since we've heard from Oahk. The Ashland, NH based artist just released a new single, "Sea Kelp." Oahk is truly one of the more unique artists we've covered here at If It's Too Loud..., and this new track shows exactly why. "Sea Kelp" is a nearly seven minute song focused heavily on drone, but it sounds far more organic than any drone track you've ever heard before. The song feels heavy without being a heavy track. Instead, it's a darkly gorgeous track that just meanders about where it needs to go. Oahk does not make music that is particularly cheery, and this is a dark one. If you can make it through the entire length of "Sea Kelp" without feeling anything, you may not have a soul.

You can listen to "Sea Kelp" below. Sea Kelp, the album, is due out September 6 on Deciduous Records. For more on Oahk, check out the artist on Facebook.

The Shang Hi Los - "Morgantic Panic"

I know what you're thinking: Great, not another garage rock/power pop single about Prince Edward VIII abdicating the British throne for an American Socialite. And yes, that's an overly used subject matter for modern music, but once you hear the latest from The Shang Hi Los, I think you'll forgive us. "Morgantic Panic" is the exact type of song we want and expect to hear from the Boston garage pop sensations. It's an upbeat rocker that has that garage rock and power pop sound that could have been released any time in the past fifty years. If you dig the Boston garage rock scene anywhere near as much as we do, you probably already know and love The Shang Hi Los.

You can listen to "Morgantic Panic" below. The single is out now via Rum Bar Records. For more on The Shang Hi Los, check out the band on Facebook.

Rakim featuring Kurupt and Masta Killa - "Be Ill"

For his first official single in fifteen years, hip hop legend Rakim has joined forces with two other hip hop legends. "Be Ill" features Kurupt and Masta Killa, and it's every bit as great as you want it to be with these three teaming up. This is pure vintage hip hop, just maybe a little more laid back than it used to be. It also sounds a little more modern than I expected, but modern in the way that this is what these legendary MCs should sound like in 2024. If you think you might want to check this one out, trust me... you do. And if you know you need to hear "Be Ill," you're going to love this one.

You can listen to "Be Ill" below. G.O.D.'s Network (Reb7rth) is due out July 26 and will feature collaborations with Method Man, Kool G Rap, Joell Ortiz, the late Nipsey Hustle, and more. It's available for pre-order here. For more on Rakim, check out the artist on Twitter and Instagram.

Laura Jane Grace & The Mississippi Medicals - "All Fucked Out"

Laura Jane Grace & The Mississippi Medicals are the group that Grace is currently touring with, featuring Matt Patton, Mikey Erg, and Paris Campbell Grace. The quartet just released a new single, "All Fucked Out." If you've seen the band play in the past few months, you've definitely heard this song, and have most likely had the song jammed in your head for a few days afterwards. It's kind of a lighter sounding song than we typically hear from Grace, and seems fairly tongue in cheek. It's lighthearted, but also viciously biting. It's the kind of song that might not grab you fully on the first listen, but on the second it will be burrowed into your soul.

Laura Jane Grace says of her latest single:

"Back in 2021, I sat down in my office to do some songwriting. Not knowing what specifically to write about that day, I challenged myself to write a song similar to whatever the current #1 hit in the world was at the time. I made the challenge to myself without knowing exactly what that song was so I had to look it up, and as it turned out at that moment, the current #1 song in the world was ‘Butter’ by BTS. Now, for those of you not familiar with the song ‘Butter’, it's about how the singer is ‘smooth like butter’.

"‘Hmmm…’ I thought to myself. ‘If they're smooth like Butter, what am I?’ And the answer to that question is ‘All Fucked Out’ — not to be confused with ‘All Fucked Up’, mind you. ‘All Fucked Out’ as in zero fucks left to give. The song quickly became a staple in my live set and I've taken a couple different previous attempts at recording it, but it wasn't until Me, Matt [Patton], Mikey [Erg] and Paris [Campbell Grace] got together this past December in Water Valley, Mississippi at Matt's Studio, Dial Back Sound, that it all came together and the song was recorded the way it was meant to be heard."

You can listen to "All Fucked Out" below. For more on Laura Jane Grace, check out the artist's website. Upcoming tour dates are below the song.

03 — Louisville, KY
  — The Whirling Tiger
04 — Memphis, TN — Growlers

06 — Pensacola, FL — Handlebar

07 — St Petersburg, FL — The Floridian Social

08 — Orlando, FL — The Social

10 — Gainesville, FL — The Wooly

11 — Athens, GA — 40 Watt Club

13 — Charlottesville, VA — Jefferson Theater *

14 — Ft. Monroe, VA — Supernova Ska Festival ^

15 — Atlantic City, NJ — Anchor Rock Club*

17 — New York, NY — The Liberty Belle

18 — Asbury Park, NJ — House of Independents

19 — Syracuse, NY — The Song & Dance

20-22 —Chicago, IL – Riot Fest

* — no Catbite

^ — no Taylor Hollingsworth