Friday, January 14, 2022

Schedule 1 - "Show Your Children"

Schedule 1 are a "melodic punk band from Vancouver, BC." There must be something in the water up there, because even a melodic punk band comes out sounding pretty damn dark. Their latest single, "Show Your Children," has plenty of jangle to the guitars and much more actual singing than you would expect with punk. But Schedule 1 sound like a very early version of The Cure decided to go a little more punk than New Wave and come out the other end sounding much more post punk. If that description appeals to you, you're going to love this. It has all of the energy of punk, but with a lot more fuzz than you normally get and with the edges softened just slightly. 

You can listen to "Show Your Children" below. Schedule 1's self-titled 12" is due out January 28 on Dirt Cult Records, and can be pre-ordered here. For more on Schedule 1, check out the band's Facebook and Bandcamp.

Friday Freebie: The Dirty Truckers - Three Shots EP

According to the description on their latest EP's Bandcamp page, The Dirty Truckers provide "... a sonic wall of '70s FM thunder welded by earnest blue collar rock n' roll." The Boston band's newest release, Three Shots EP, is three songs (naturally) that combine rock in country in a way you haven't quite heard before. It's a unique mix of alt-country and power pop, with all of the edge and punk attitude of alt-country but with huge melodic guitars and some of the catchiest hooks around. It's like bands like The Replacements and Drive-By Truckers decided to smooth out their sound a bit. It's distinctly a country rock EP, but more like Gram Parsons by way of Steve Earle.

You can listen to "Turn Your Head Around" below. Three Shots EP is out now on Rum Bar Records and available for the "name your price" option over at Bandcamp. If you do choose free, be sure to give The Dirty Truckers a follow over on Facebook.

Guerilla Toss - "Cannibal Capital"

Photo by Ebru Yildiz

Guerilla Toss have always been one of the more interesting bands we've covered. Back when I first discovered them opening for Mission of Burma in 2015 they were more of a guitar noise band, and since they've evolved to more of an electronic noise band. The band introduced multiple songs as "party songs" back at that live show, which seems to be the thread that unites their entire catalog. 

The latest from Guerilla Toss seems to unite both sides of the band. "Cannibal Capital" opens more as a guitar driven noise rock song, but quickly changes to one of the most oddball dance jams you've ever heard. It keeps some of the more guitar rock elements throughout, but this is distinctly a dance song, albeit not like anything you think of when you think of dance music. For a band that has always been playing "party songs," this is the most party we've ever seen them. 

You can watch the video for "Cannibal Capital" below. Famously Alive is due out March 25 on Sub Pop Records, and can be pre-ordered/pre-saved here. For more on Guerilla Toss, check out the band's website.

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Tomato Flower - "World to Come"

Photo by Tomato Flower

The latest single from Baltimore's Tomato House starts off fairly normally. It's pretty standard modern mellow indie rock. "World to Come" sort of meanders around itself, taking the listener on a pleasant little journey. And then it changes enough to get a little more weird. Extra instruments seem to come in (or the existing instruments ramp up a bit), and Austyn Wohlers' vocals take on a choir-like sound. The change isn't exactly subtle, but it changes without altering the vibe of the song at all. "World to Come" is on of the more endearing indie rock songs of 2022 so far. If you like your indie to have more harmony than noise, Tomato Flower can't be missed.

You can listen to "World to Come" below. Gold Arc is due out February 11 on Ramp Local and can be pre-ordered here. For more on Tomato Flower, check out the band's Facebook and Instagram.

Raw Poetic - "Sunny Water"

Photo by Earl Davis

We were big fans of Raw Poetic's 2020 collaborative album with his uncle Archie Shepp and Damu the Fudgemunk. This year he's releasing his sixth solo album and we can now check out the first single. "Sunny Water" is more straight up hip hop than the jazz/hip hop hybrid album Ocean Bridges, but it's definitely not your average hip hop song. It has that free feeling of jazz without sounding like jazz. Musically, it doesn't really sound like hip hop, either. The beats are more restrained than I've ever heard in a rap song before. It's jazzy without sounding like jazz and hip hop without being an obvious rap song. Raw Poetic is pushing boundaries on this one, and we can't wait to hear more.

Raw Poetic (aka Jason Moore) also has a hard time describing his upcoming album in a press release:

“I still can’t fully describe what kind of album this is so I’ve now reserved myself to telling people it’s a ‘Jason’ album. I wanted to tell people what the hell is going on through my head sometimes; how I feel as a guy from Northern Virginia. Sometimes it’s invisible, other times invincible. Sometimes loved, sometimes hurt. Once we got started mixing and matching ideas, well… it became something that I am very proud of.

You can watch the video for "Sunny Water" below. Laminated Skies is due out March 18 on Def Presse, and can be pre-ordered/pre-saved here. For more on Raw Poetic, check out the artist's website.

Shane Parish - "Black Eyed Susan"

Photo by Courtney Chappell

The upcoming album from Shane Parish is one of the more interesting releases we've come across. Liverpool is a collection of traditional sea shanties re-imagined with electric guitar and drums. The collection of songs was originally arranged for an acoustic guitar but were then recorded with electric guitars. Far from being a TikTok trend, a song like "Black Eyed Susan" sounds like no sea shanty you've ever heard before. It's an experimental instrumental showcase for Parish's musicianship. While most experimental guitar based music tends to focus more on noise, Parish takes the familiar and completely reworks it in a dark and hypnotic way. There aren't many artists out there that could release a six and a half minute instrumental sea shanty and make it one of the most compelling listens of the year, but Parish has gifted us all with that.

You can watch the video for "Black Eyed Susan" below. Liverpool is due out March 4 on Dear Life Records and can be pre-ordered via Bandcamp. For more on Shane Parish, check out the artist's website.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Fantastic Negrito - "When Everything Went Wrong"

Photo by David Domínguez

We're about two months late on this one so I almost skipped it, but this song is too great to not bring you, even very late. Fantastic Negrito recorded a song for a fight scene in the Netflix animated series Arcane. It may seem like an odd choice, but considering that "When Everything Went Wrong" is scored to the scene, it fits perfectly with what we'd expect from Fantastic Negrito. He's always had a very unique take on blues, almost like blues with just the slightest hints of indie rock. It's a truly fun song with a modern take on a classic American sound. Fantastic Negrito has always been an artist making music his very own way, and even when he's scoring an animated fight scene it's still distinctly his.

You can listen to "When Everything Went Wrong" below. For more on Fantastic Negrito, check out the artist's website.

Shanda & The Howlers - "Miles and Miles"

Shanda & The Howlers are a band out of time. The Las Vegas based band sound like they should have been around back in the 50's and 60's. They have a blend of R&B, blues, garage, and soul that doesn't sound like a throwback or even an homage. A song like "Miles and Miles" sounds like the real deal. It's the kind of song that sounds like it could be from an old Nuggets compilation, if it wasn't for the modern day production. (Although "Miles and Miles" does have the layer of grit and fuzz that classic garage tracks all have.) Shanda & The Howlers are perfect for those of us that spent a good chunk of their childhoods listening to their parents records from their youth along with the local oldies station.

You can listen to "Miles and Miles" below. It Ain't Easy is due out January 28 on Rum Bar Records and can be pre-ordered over at Bandcamp. For more on Shanda & The Howlers, check out the band's website.

Artsick - "Look Again"

If you haven't fully joined us on the Artsick bandwagon, the band's latest single is going to make you want to jump aboard. "Look Again" feels like so much of the music I listened to in the mid 90's. It would have been from the post grunge time period when there were tons of power pop bands but everyone refused to use any description that included the word pop. The song would be made to sound a little quirky or punk to rebel against that pop sound, but it was there, even if it took us over twenty years to admit it. That's the kind of song "Look Again" is. It's reminding me of vintage Juliana Hatfield Three or The Muffs, and that is never a bad thing. This is a great mixture of classic mid 90's indie rock crossed with modern indie pop.

You can watch the video for "Look Again" below. Fingers Crossed is due out on January 21 on Slumberland Records, and can be pre-ordered/pre-saved here. For more on Artsick, check out the band on Twitter and Instagram.

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Bill Janovitz - "SKUNK"

Back in the pre-digital days consumers would be screwed regularly by B-sides and rarities. I spent a lot of money on import CD singles just to get that one rarity song that wasn't on the album. And, of course, eventually it would just be released on a rarities compilation. But... I still had to have it first. 

That's one thing I love about the modern music industry. A B-side or rarity can just be uploaded on the internet, quite often by the artist themselves. You can even get an artist going way out of their standard musical fare with an experimental song without having to spend $20 to hear it. Over the weekend, Bill Janovitz released "SKUNK" on Bandcamp. We all know Buffalo Tom's 90's alt-rock classics and should be familiar with Janovitz's more singer/songwriter solo work, but "SKUNK" is nothing like anything we've heard from him before. It's a just shy of two minutes funky as hell psychedelic instrumental jam song. You would swear this is from the 70's. Plus, it has a blistering guitar solo that you don't normally get to see Janovitz pull off. Would this song be worth $20 as an import CD single B-side? Maybe not. But a $1 Bandcamp download? Hell yes.

You can listen to "SKUNK" below. The song is available now for download via Bandcamp. For more on Bill Janovitz, check out his website.