Currently comprised of Casper Iskov (vocals), Mathias Risager (drums), Jens Hyldahl (bassist) and Andreas Frandsen (guitar), the Aarhus, Denmark-based indie rock quartet Love Talk can trace their origins to when its co-founders Casper Iskov and […]
Mark Lanegan is a Ellensburg, WA-born, Los Angeles, CA-based singer/songwriter and guitarist, best known as the frontman, and founding member of Seattle-based grunge rock pioneers Screaming Trees, and for collaborating with an incredibly diverse array of artists and bands throughout his lengthy career including Nirvana‘s Kurt Cobain on an unreleased Lead Belly cover/tribute album recorded before the release of Nevermind. The Ellensburg-born, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter was also a member of renowned grunge rock All-Star supergroup/side project Mad Season with Alice in Chains‘ Layne Staley and Pearl Jam‘s Mike McCready. After Screaming Trees broke up in 2000, Lanegan joined Queens of the Stone Age and is featured on the band’s last five albums — 2000’s Rated R, 2002’s Songs for the Deaf, 2005’s Lullabies to Paralyze, 2007’s Era Vulgaris and 2013’s . . . Like Clockwork. He’s also collaborated with The Afghan Whigs‘ Greg Dulli in The Gutter Twins and has collaborated with former Belle and Sebastian vocalist Isobel Campbell on three albums. Additionally, he has contributed or guested on albums by Melisa Auf der Maur, Martina Topley-Bird, Creature with the Atom Brain, Moby, Bomb the Bass, Soulsavers, Greg Dulli’s The Twilight Singers, UNKLE and others. And although he’s managed to be rather busy throughout the years, Lanegan has also developed a low-key solo career in which he’s released nine studio albums that have been critically applauded and have seen a fair amount of commercial success.
Lanegan’s 10th full-length effort Gargoyle is slated for an April 28, 2017 release through Heavenly Recordings and interestingly enough, Lanegan can trace the origins of the album’s material and sound back to early 2016. At the time, the renowned grunge rocker was working on some ideas for what might be a new solo album, when he received an email from a friend and collaborator, the British based musician Rob Marshall, who he had first met several years before when Marshall’s former band Exit Calm had supported Soulsavers, a band that Lanegan had been fronting. The email thanked Lanegan for his participation on an album that Marshall had recorded with his newest project, Humanist while offering to write music for Lanegan to return a favor to the grunge pioneer. As Lanegan recalls in press notes, his response was along the lines of “Hey man, I’m getting ready to make a record, if you’ve got anything? Three days later he sent me 10 things… !”
Early on in the writing process, Lanegan had written “Blue Blue Sea,” a rippling mood peice that he thought and felt would be more fruitful direction for the songs on the album. “It’s almost always how my records start,” the Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter explains in press notes. “I let the first couple of songs tell me what the next couple should sound like, and it’s really the same process when I’m writing words. Whatever my first couple of lines are, tell me what the next couple should be. I’ve always built things like that, sort of like making a sculpture I guess.” Within about an hour, Lanegan and written words and recorded vocals for two of the instrumental tracks Marshall had written and recorded at Mount Sion Studios in Kent UK. Interestingly, the music Marshall had written had managed to fit perfectly with the direction Lanegan had been thinking of for some time — an expansion of the Krautrock-inspired electronic sounds and textures of his previous two albums Blues Funeral and Phantom Radio. Eventually Marshall wound up co-writing six of the album’s 10 songs with the remainder of the album being written and produced by Lanegan’s longtime collaborator Alain Johannes at 11AD Studios in West Hollywood.
As the story goes, everything was polished and finished within a month, which has been unusually fast by Lanegan’s recent standards. “I definitely feel like I’m a better songwriter than I was 15 years ago,” Lanegan stays in press notes. “I don’t know if I’m just kidding myself or what, but it’s definitely easier now to make something that is satisfying to me. Maybe I’m just easier on myself these days, but it’s definitely not as painful a process, and therefore I feel I’m better at it now. But part of the way that I stay interested in making music is by collaborating with other people. When I see things through somebody else’s perspective it’s more exciting than if I’m left to my own devices.”
Gargoyle‘s second and latest single “Beehive” pairs Lanegan’s imitable boozy, growling baritone vocals with a bluesy and swaggering production featuring shimmering guitar chords and enormous tweeter and woofer rattling beats, essentially pushing Lanegan’s recent forays into the blues into the 21st Century; but in a way that feels both warmly familiar and yet new.
Featuring co-founders and primary songwriters Shelley X and Chris Wild, GHXST is a New York-based noise rock/grunge rock/doom metal trio whose has publicly cited The Jesus and Mary Chain, White Zombie and Sonic Youth as their influences. And with their latest EP, Perish, the New York-based noise rock trio will further cement their reputation for crafting a noisy, shoegazer-like sound full of enormous power chords fed through layers upon layers of distortion and effects pedals, Shelley X’s bluesy croon — while being a subtle change in sound as the act employs the use of both obscured and distorted drum machine and some effects pedals on Shelley X’s vocals, as you’ll hear on the EP’s latest power chord, feedback laden, doom-filled dirge “Waiting for the Night.”
Directed by the members of the band, the video follows its primary duo wandering down a train line to a desolate, sleazy and decidedly American small town-based motel, where they broodingly sit around bored, waiting for something and nothing in their hotel room and in front of a projection screen featuring dusty, old images of the American West, before concluding with the duo driving along dirt-filled blacktop as the sun sets. And within both the song and its accompanying video, there’s a sense of restless energy and insomnia-filled, endless nights in seedy, fucked up and lonesome places.
Currently comprised of founding members Chris Cornell (vocals, rhythm guitar) and Kim Thayil (lead guitar), along with Matt Cameron (drums), who joined in 1986 and Ben Shepherd (bass), who joined in 1990, the Seattle, WA-based grunge/alt-rock quartet Soundgarden can trace its origins back to the formation and eventual breakup of an early 80s Seattle-based band The Shemps, which featured Cornell on drums and vocals, along with original bassist Hiro Yamamoto. Strangely enough, over the years what seems to have been forgotten is that the members of Soundgarden had started their recording career with Sub Pop Records; in fact, the renowned alt rock/indie label released the band’s first two EPs 1987’s Screaming Life and 1988’s Fopp, two efforts, which the label re-issued a couple of years ago through both vinyl and digital formats, marking the first time in about 25 years that the EPs were pressed onto vinyl — and the first time they were released digitally. Interestingly enough, Sub Pop Records helped distributed Soundgarden’s 1988 full-length debut, Ultramega OK.
And although they had some creative differences with the album’s producer Drew Canulette and the band’s overall dissatisfaction with the final mixes, their full-length effort was a commercial success as it garnered both a 1990 Grammy nomination for Best Metal Performance and attention from larger labels — including A&M Records, who quickly signed the band. At the time, the band had intended to spend some time remixing the album for subsequent pressings of the album; but those plans wound up falling by the wayside, as the band went on to write and record their sophomore effort, and major-label debut, Louder Than Love.
Last year, the members of the band acquired the original multi-track tapes from the Ultramega OK sessions and they enlisted the assistance of renowned producer, engineer, long-time friend and frequent, old-time collaborator Jack Endino, who has famously worked with Nirvana, Mudhoney, Screaming Trees, Skin Yard, The Black Clouds and others to create a new mix of the album that would tie up what the band felt were persistent loose ends — while fixing the album’s overall sound. Interestingly, the band found six early version of album singles that eventually wound up on Ultramega OK and reportedly those early versions, which would eventually become staples of their live sets at the time, capture the band’s sound and songwriting in a much rawer, less polished form — and much closer to the sound on the Screaming Life EP.
Almost 30 years after Ultramega OK’s original release, Sub Pop Records will be releasing the remixed and expanded re-issue of the album, as a long-awaited “correction.” Naturally, for die-hard fans and completists, the re-mixed material will capture the band’s sound as they fully intended it, while the re-discovered early material will serve as a window into the development of the band’s songwriting approach and overall sound. Now, as you may remember, I wrote about the re-issue’s first single “Beyond The Wheel” and the re-mixed version possessed a crisper, cleaner sound, which helped to display Kim Thayill’s incredible guitar work and the interplay between Matt Cameron’s Bonham-like thundering drumming and Cornell’s Robert Plant-like wailing. The re-mixed and expanded Ultramega OK’s second single “Flower” much like its preceding single displays a cleaner, crisper sound, which gives the song the muscular insistence that the band became known for while interestingly enough, the song has moments that nod at Badmotorfinger and Superunknown.
Initially begun as the solo recording project of Salt Lake City, UT-based founding member and frontman Jordon Strang and now currently a quartet, indie rock/shoegazer rock band No Sun has seen regional and national attention for a harder and more modern take on shoegaze that draws from the genre’s masters, Swervedriver, RIDE and Failure and contemporaries including Pity Sex, Silversun Pickups and others. The Salt Lake City, UT-based band’s full-length debut It’s Only was released through The Native Sound Records and hot on its heels, the members of No Sun released a brooding, sludgy grunge rock-leaning cover of Dead Kennedys “Nazi Punks Fuck Off,” a song that’s become much more urgent, in light of increasing anti-Semitic and racist-based attacks and bullying across the country.
“America has shown its very disgusting underbelly over the past few months, and I’m sure it will only get worse. Going to shows, and the DIY community in general shoudl be a place where everyone feels safe, except for those that live to make others feel unsafe for something as simple as the color of their skin, their gender identity or their sexual orientation. We covered this song to let everyone know that we think Nazism and bigotry is not welcome, and will not be tolerated within our fanbase or at any of our shows,” the band’s founder and frontman Jordon Stang says of why they decided to cover the song.
Punk means thinkin’ for yourself
You ain’t hardcore ’cause you spike your hair
When a jock still lives inside your head
Nazi punks fuck off
Nazi punks fuck off
If you’ve come to fight, get outta here
You ain’t no better than the bouncers
We ain’t tryin’ to be police
When you ape the cops it ain’t anarchy
Nazi punks fuck off
Nazi punks fuck off
Ten guys jump one, what a man
You fight each other, the police state wins
Stab your backs when you trash our halls
Trash a bank if you’ve got real balls
You still think Swastikas look cool
The real Nazis run your schools
They’re coaches, businessmen and cops
In a real fourth Reich you’ll be the first to go
Nazi punks fuck off
Nazi punks fuck off
You’ll be the first to go
You’ll be the first to go
You’ll be the first to go
Unless you think
No Sun will be embarking on a lengthy tour to support their debut album throughout March and April — and it’ll include an NYC area stop at Saint Vitus on March 25, 2017. Check out tour dates below.
3/9 Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge
3/10 Denver, CO @ Mutiny Information Cafe
3/11 Kansas City, MO @ The Couch
3/12 St. Louis, MO @ Foam
3/13 Milwaukee, MN @ Ground Zero
3/14 Minneapolis, MN @ Safe Haus
3/15 Chicago, IL @ Quenchers
3/16 Fort Wayne, IN @ The Tiger Room
3/17 Elyria, OH @ Blank State Elyria
3/18 Toronto, ON @ The Smiling Buddha
3/19 Montreal, QC @ Brasserie Beaubien
3/20 Syracuse, NY @ The Reformed Church of Syracuse
3/21 Florence, MA – 13th Floor Music Lounge
3/22 Boston, MA @ The Middle East
3/24 Montclair, NJ @ Meatlocker
3/25 Brooklyn, NY @ St. Vitus
3/26 Wilkes Barre, PA @ The Other Side
3/27 Baltimore, MD @ The Windup Space
3/28 Philadelphia, Pa @ Kung Fu Necktie
3/29 Richmond, VA – @ The Castle
3/30 Charlotte, NC @ The Station On Central
04/1 Houston, TX @ Satellite Bar
04/2 Austin, TX @ Beerland
04/4 El Paso, TX @ The Sandbox
04/5 Tempe, AZ @ 51 West
Comprised of Travis Coster (vocals, guitar), Neil Gregerson (guitar), and Nic Luempert (drums), the Olympia, WA-based punk rock/grunge rock trio Naomi Pink, whose sound clearly draws quite a bit from the region’s grunge rock past — i.e. Wipers, Dead Moon and Nirvana — while channeling energy from a number of the region’s contemporary acts including Milk Music, Broken Water, Vexx and Gag. “Television Man,” the album title track off their 2015 release Television Man manages to sound as though it draws a bit from grunge rock, thanks to ragged and blistering guitar work but it also sounds as though it could have easily drawn from the likes of Pink Flag-era Wire, Entertainment-era Gang of Four as the song possesses a tense, angular feel.
And although they’re currently working on Television Man’s follow up, the Pacific Northwest-based band announced a busy February tour with PC Worship that starts off at Portland, OR‘s The Liquor Store and ends at The Park Church Co-op in Brooklyn. Check out tour dates below.
Comprised of Dan Matthews (vocals, guitar), Neil Hayes (guitar, vocals), Gary Moses (bass, vocals) and Cory King (drums, vocals), the Asbury Park, NJ-based indie rock quartet The Black Clouds have developed a reputation for a DIY approach to an increasingly busy touring schedule, for self-recording and self-producing their first two albums, and attention-grabbing collaborations with Jack Endino, who has produced, mixed and recorded some of Seattle‘s most beloved and renowned bands and Mudhoney‘s Mark Arm. And over the past 18 months or so, the New Jersey-based quartet have added themselves to this site’s growing list of mainstay artists — thanks to when I caught them open for Mudhoney at the Bell House some time ago and the release of “Photograph” and “Vice” the first two singles off the band’s third album, After All.
Just in time for the album’s official release today, the members of The Black Clouds released After All‘s third and latest single “Self Control,” will further cement the band’s reputation for crating 120 Minutes-era MTV/90s-inspired indie rock, complete with enormous, arena-rock friendly hooks and a radio-friendly vibe; but thanks to an uncanny sense of melody within the song, After All‘s latest single may arguably be the most Foo Fighters-leaning song on the album.
If you had stumbled upon this site last week, you may have come across a post on the Asbury Park, NJ-based indie rock quartet The Black Clouds. Comprised of Dan Matthews (vocals, guitar), Neil Hayes (guitar, vocals), Gary Moses (bass, vocals) and Cory King (drums, vocals), the New Jersey-based quartet have developed a reputation for a DIY approach to recording and producing their albums, for a busy touring schedule and a continuing collaboration with renowned producer, engineer and musician Jack Endino, who has worked with an incredibly impressive list of artists and who has mixed and mastered The Black Clouds’ first two albums. And building upon a growing national profile, the band has not only played at everal of the country’s largest festivals including Bamboozle and SXSW, they’ve also toured with the likes of Mudhoney among others.
The Ashbury Park, NJ-based quartet’s third full-length effort After All is slated for a January 6 release and the album, which was recorded at Studio 606 will further continue the band’s collaboration with Jack Endino, who only only recorded, mixed and mastered the album but also produced the album and contributed some guitar on aa few songs. The album’s first single “Photograph” was a 90s grunge rock, barn-burner of song with growled vocals, aggressive power chords an anthemic hook reminiscent of Foo Fighters, Nirvana and of 120 Minutes-era MTV.
Interestingly, After All‘s second and latest single “Vice” continues the band’s ongoing collaboration with Mudhoney’s imitable frontman Mark Arm while furthering the band’s burgeoning reputation for crafting 90s grunge inspired rock — all power chords, howled vocals, enormous hooks and thundering drumming but in this case paired with Mark Arm howling lyrics about debaucherous behavior and in a similar fashion to Jim Carroll Band‘s “People Who Died,” “Vice” manages to offer a sobering warning — some of that behavior will fuck you up and then kill you.
Cooler is a Buffalo, NY-based indie rock quintet, comprised of Alley Yates (guitar, vocals), Nathan McDorman (guitar, vocals), Nick Sessanna (drums, vocals) and Adam Cwynar (bass) whose sound and aesthetic draws from 90s grunge and early 00s emo and as a result their sound has been compared favorably to the likes of Weezer, Saves the Day and Pity Sex — although as you’ll hear on “Metal Moths,” the latest single off their recently released Phantom Phuzz EP, their sound reminds me quite a bit of Bleeding Rainbow and Silversun Pickups as the members of the Buffalo-based quintet specialize in pairing layers of fuzzy power chords with anthemic hooks, a special attention on harmonized vocals singing incredibly earnest lyrics. Listening to the track brought back memories of making mixtapes
Comprised of Dan Matthews (vocals, guitar), Neil Hayes (guitar, vocals), Gary Moses (bass, vocals) and Cory King (drums, vocals), the Asbury Park, NJ-based indie rock quartet The Black Clouds have developed a reputation for a DIY approach to recording and producing their material and for touring — and for a continuing collaboration with the legendary Jack Endino, who has mixed and mastered each of the band’s first two albums. Building on a growing national profile, the band has played at several of the country’s largest festivals including Bamboozle and SXSW, and have opened for the likes of the legendary Mudhoney; in fact, I caught the New Jersey-based band open for Mudhoney when the legendary grunge rock forefathers stopped at The Bell House last year.
The members of the New Jersey-based quartet will be releasing their third full-length effort After All on January 6 and the album, which was recorded at Studio 606 will further continue the band’s collaboration with Jack Endino, who only only recorded, mixed and mastered the album but also produced the album and contributed some guitar on aa few songs. Additionally, Mudhoney’s Mark Arm contributes his imitable vocals to a couple of songs, furthering yet another collaboration with a Seattle grunge rock legend. After All‘s first single “Photograph” is a 1990s-inspired, explosive barn-burner of a song, complete with aggressive power chords, growled vocals and an anthemic hook reminiscent of Foo Fighters, Nirvana and others — all while being rather radio-friendly.