Category: grunge

With the release of “Blue Hell,” the lead single and album opener off their full-length debut effort, Uncontrollable Salvation, the San Francisco, CA-based punk rock/indie rock quartet Pardoner quickly received attention for angst-filled, power chord-based, mosh pit-friendly rock. And unsurprisingly, Uncontrollable Salvation‘s second and latest single, album title track “Uncontrollable Salvation” will further cement their reputation for crafting 90s, inspired slacker rock full of buzzing power chords and rousingly anthemic hooks, and while the song has garnered comparisons to Polvo and Dinosaur, Jr., which are fair, I also hear elements of the beloved, Seattle grunge sound.

The Jack Shirley-produced Uncontrollable Salvation is slated for a September 8, 2017 release through Father/Daughter Records. And to build up buzz for the album, the band has two Bay Area shows in August. Check out live dates below.

Live Dates

August 5 – San Francisco, CA @ Cafe du Nord (w/ Alex Napping)
August 30 – Oakland, CA @ Starline Social Club (w/ Froth)

 

 

 

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Earlier this week, I wrote about the Los Angeles, CA-based indie rock/grunge rock quartet Ramonda Hammer. Comprised of founding member and primary songwriter Devin Davis, along with Andy Hengl, Justin Geter and Mark Edwards, the quartet derive their name from a woman, who was once featured on the early 2000s reality TV show Cheaters. Their self-released 2016 debut Whatever That Means was released to critical applause from Impose MagazineEarmilk, PureVolumeFuse TV and elsewhere, and as a result of a rapidly growing local and national profile, the band signed with New Professor Records and released “Zombie Sweater” to applause from Brooklyn VeganShe Shreds MagazineBlurred Culture and others. Adding to a growing profile, the band was named one of “LA’s hardest-working bands of 2016” by Oh My Rockness and one of the “best LA emerging bands of 2017 by The Deli Magazine.

Ramonda Hammer’s forthcoming EP Destroyers is slated for an August 4, 2017 release, and the effort’s jagged and off-kilter title track “Destroyers” received attention from this site and elsewhere for a sound that channeled  The BreedersVeruca SaltThe MallardBleeding Rainbow, and others, complete with a rousingly anthemic hook before dissolving into a stormy yet cathartic coda; but at the heart of the song is an emotional ambivalence, as the song manages to be simultaneously feral yet bitterly ironic, triumphantly ass-kicking yet a little sad.

The EP’s latest single “Bender” as Davis explains was written while she was binge-watching Shameless for two weeks straight and she just couldn’t get off the couch to anything remotely productive. “In retrospect, I guess I could call it ‘research’ or whatever, because I ended up writing this song. But yeah, the lyrics are really just a conversation between two opposing sides in one’s brain. The verses ask questions from the more sane, healthy part of one’s psyche, and the choruses respond from the anxiety-ridden, depressed, and very frustrated side. And the reason this person (okay, it’s me!) is so effing frustrated is because they care so so so much, but when crippling depression sets in from time to time, when they get caught in a bender of some sort, it’s so hard to do the things that make you happy. In a final cry, I end the song with, ‘I swear that I deserve good things’ because I think I do and I know other people feel the same.” And while arguably being the most personal song Davis has written, it may be one of the more melodic and anthemic tunes they’ve released to date, sounding as though it could have been released between 1992 and 1996.

Comprised of founding member, frontwoman and primary songwriter Devin Davis, along with Andy Hengl, Justin Geter and Mark Edwards, the Los Angeles, CA-based indie rock/grunge rock quartet Ramonda Hammer derive their name from a woman, who was featured on the early 2000s reality TV show Cheaters.

The quartet’s self-released 2016 debut Whatever That Means was released to critical praise from Impose MagazineEarmilk, PureVolume, Fuse TV and elsewhere. Building upon the growing attention they’ve received, the quartet signed with New Professor Records and released “Zombie Sweater” to applause from Brooklyn Vegan, She Shreds Magazine, Blurred Culture and others; in fact, the band also was named one of “LA’s hardest-working bands of 2016” by Oh My Rockness and one of the “best LA emerging bands of 2017 by The Deli Magazine.

Interestingly, 2017 looks to be a big year for the up-and-coming Los Angeles-based quartet as they’ll be releasing their new EP, Destroyers on August 4, 2017 — and the EP’s latest single, EP title track “Destroyers” is a jagged and off-kilter track that channels The Breeders, Veruca Salt, The Mallard, Bleeding Rainbow, and others, complete with a rousingly anthemic hook before dissolving into a stormy yet cathartic coda; but at the heart of the song is an emotional ambivalence, as the song manages to be simultaneously feral yet bitterly ironic, triumphantly ass-kicking yet a little sad.

 

 

New Video: The Cinematic and Mournful Visuals for Mark Lanegan Band’s “Beehive”

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 release next week 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 and singer/songwriter was working on some ideas for material, which could possibly 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.

Directed by Zhang + Kang and produced by Agile Flims, the recently released video for “Beehive” follows two young lovers — two vampires, actually, who are desperately trying to kick their craving for blood. Before presumably deciding to kill themselves, they spend a sad yet beautiful romantic night together — and at the core of the video is a heavy, world-weary and fatalistic ache.

Comprised of New Jersey-born, Brooklyn-based founding members Tarra Thiessen (guitar, vocals) and Natalie Kirch (bass, vocals), the Brooklyn-based duo Sharkmuffin have claimed a rather eclectic set of influences including Nirvana and The Ronnettes on their sound, which they’ve dubbed “opti-mystic glam-grunge.” And with release of a handful of EPs and 2015’s full-length debut Chartreuse, Thieseen and Kirch have seen a rapidly growing national profile, which has resulted in praise from the likes of Billboard who listed the band as one of their 20 All-Female Bands You Should Know and several national tours (which have naturally included a couple of stops in Austin for SXSW).

It’s been a while since I’ve written about the Brooklyn-based indie rock duo, but as it turns out, after they finished up some extensive touring to support Chartreuse, Theissen and Kirch spent the better part of last year writing and recording the material, which would comprise their sophomore effort Tsuki, which is slated for a May 5, 2017 release through Little Dickman Records. And the album’s latest single “Scully is a Sharkmuffin” is a 90s grunge rock-inspired ode to The X-Files and to Dana Scully, the sci-fi show’s resident skeptic and all around, feminist symbol.  Featuring a down-tuned, propulsive bass line, thundering drumming from Kim Deuss, some explosive and blistering guitar work paired with Theiseesn’s urgently howled mantra-liked lyrics based on both the beloved sci-fi show’s intro and overall themes “The truth is out there. I want to believe. The government lies,” the forceful  song manages to sound as though it could have been released in the mid 90s while capturing a growing and embittering awareness of how often and how insidious the government’s lies are. Interestingly, as the band notes, “Scully is a Sharkmuffin” was the only song on the album that was mostly improvised and recorded completely live to tape, and as a result the song packs an enormous wallop — while accurately capturing their live energy.

The band has been touring the States with their original lineup of Thiessen, Kirch, Drew Adler (drums) and Nunez (guitar) since March and will be completing the Stateside run of their tour with an album release show at Sunnyvale on May 3, 2017. Throughout the bulk of May, the band will be touring the UK. Check out tour dates below.

 TOUR DATES:
5/3 — Sunnyvale – Brooklyn, NY %
5/10 – Bassment – Chelmsford UK
5/12 – The Harp Restrung – Folkestone UK
5/13 – John Peel Centre – Suffolk UK
5/16 – Gwdihw – Cardiff, Wales
5/18 – The Great Escape (Sticky Mike’s) – Brighton UK
5/19 – The Lock Tavern – London UK
5/20 – The Eagle – Manchester UK
5/21 – Twenty Ten – Matlock UK
5/23 – The Nest – Bath UK
5/24 – Whiskers – Newquay UK
5/27 – Mello Festival – Evesham UK
5/28 – Blank Generation Festival (afternoon) – London UK
5/28 – The Victoria Dalston (evening) – London UK
5/31 – Green Door Store – Brighton UK

% = Album Release Show

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 ChainsLayne 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 WhigsGreg 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Video: The Moody and Doom-Laden Sounds and Visuals of GHXST’s “Waiting for the Night”

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.