Tag: My Vitriol

New Video: Up-and-Coming New York Indie Act A Very Special Episode Explore the Paranormal in Visuals for “Gravity”

Deriving their name from the TV term for a specific sitcom episode that discusses heavy and/or more serious topics relative to the typical content of a broadcast network sitcom, the New York-based indie act A Very Special Episode was founded by its primary songwriting duo and core members Kasey Heiser (vocals) and Patrick Porter (guitar) back in 2016, and despite a series of lineup changes throughout their short history, Heiser and Porter have cited television — particularly sitcoms — as influencing some of the thematic concerns of their work. Sonically though, their sound draws from shoegaze, post-punk and 90s alt rock while centered around Haiser’s powerhouse vocals and enormous, arena friendly hooks. 

The band’s debut effort Censored Dreams was drawn from a series of home recordings, written over the course of several years, inspired by their own personal lives, including being artists struggling with the tedium of day jobs, personal and romantic relationships, Internet drama and many of the frustrations of daily life. So far 2018 has proven to be a big year for the band: they signed to Knuckle Down Records in April, and their sophomore EP Cut For Time was officially released today — and interestingly enough, the band’s new EP reportedly finds the band shifting towards a faster and more aggressive tempo while still retaining the atmospherics and intricate guitar work of their previously released material.  As the duo explain in press notes, “The goal of the EP was to create definitive versions of several of our songs that started as bedroom demos, along with a couple new ones.”

Featuring an arrangement of enormous, arena rock power chords played through feedback, delay and other effects pedals, thundering drumming, heavily down-tuned bass, equally enormous arena rock meets pop hooks — but while ensuring that Heiser’s attention-grabbing, power house vocals are at the forefront. Sonically, the song seems to find the band drawing from Paramore, My Vitriol, My Bloody Valentine and others simultaneously — but with a modern and incredibly self-assured take. As the band mentions “Gravity” is one of their oldest songs, and is among the first they’ve written, and while largely inspired by Stranger Things, the EP version is played with a faster tempo and higher, cleaner production value — while thematically, focusing on directly experiencing the paranormal. 
Shot and directed by Emma Shalaway, the recently releaysed video further emphasizes the paranormal — and perhaps paranoid — vibes of the song, as it focuses on the existence of parallel yet strangely similar universes, and the subtle yet gnawing sense that we’ve experienced something inexplicably odd yet can’t quite put to words. 

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New Video: Introducing the 4AD Records-Inspired Shoegaze Sound of Los Angeles’ Tennis System

With the release of their latest effort PAIN earlier this year through Graveface Records,the up-and-coming Los Angeles, CA-based noise rock/shoegaze trio Tennis System has developed a reputation for a classic 4AD Records sound: squalling feedback-tinged power chords fed through delay and effect pedals, thundering drumming and ethereal melodies, centered around a rather sunny ambivalence, and a sense of profound loss — and for quickly establishing themselves as one of their hometown’s best, new live bands. In fact, the trio have played sets at Austin Psych Fest, Noise Pop Fest, Echo Park Rising and the Air & Style Festival, and have shared stages with The Flaming Lips, Ride, Dinosaur Jr., Kendrick Lamar and Diiv among others. 

“COMINGDOWN,” PAIN’s latest single will further cement the band’s reputation for crafting a familiar and beloved sound — in this case, recalling My Bloody Valentine, A Storm in Heaven-era The Verve, JOVM mainstays Dead Leaf Echo, My Vitriol and others but with an anxiety of wha the future could hold, after a horrible event that the song’s narrator knows they will regret. 

Directed by Logan Rice, the video follows  Niamh Hannigan as she distractedly goes through her day — and through a series of rapidly changing colors, grainy fade outs and fade ins, the video suggests that its protagonist is slowly coming down from the throes of hallucinogenic fugue. 

New Video: Russian Baths Release an Uncomfortably Intimate Visual for “Poolhouse”

Over the past few months,  I’ve written a bit about the Brooklyn-based indie rock quartet Russian Baths, and as you may recall, with the release of their  debut single “Ambulance,” the band comprised of  Luke Koz, Jess Ress, Evan Gill Smith and Jeff Widner, quickly received attention for a sound that the band has said nods at Big Black, 70s space rock, Big Muff and British post punk among others; however, “Slenderman,” the first single off Penance, which was released earlier this year, nodded at brooding, 120 Minutes-era MTV alternative rock, as the song featured the familiar alternating quiet, loud, quiet song structure and rousingly anthemic hooks while “What’s In Your Basement”  was an mosh-pit worthy song that nodded at Bleach and In Utero-era Nirvana and Finelines-era My Vitriol.

Interestingly, “Poolhouse,” Penance‘s latest single is an expansive, shoegazer rock-like song that manages to bring Sonic Youth to mind, as the band employs the use of jangling dissonance to create a an eerily gorgeous song that feels immense and downright oceanic. As the members of the band explain, “‘Poolhouse’ is about an existential crisis. It’s about feeling so overwhelmed that you can’t see the way out. It’s about moments of clam and hope being submerged in waves of pressure. It’s about losing your breath because of fear.” 

 Shot in an uncomfortably intimate close up that features the band’s frontwoman Jess Ress as she’s doused in continuous steams of water, the recently released video for “Poolhouse” evokes of submersion that the song focuses in, with the video’s protagonist struggling to keep calm. 

New Video: Chilean Shoegazers MAFF Release Eerie 120 Minutes MTV-like Visuals for Cinematic “Act 2”

Currently comprised of childhood friends and founding members Richard Gómez (vocals, bass and guitar) and Nicolás “Nek” Colombres (drums), along with the band’s newest members, Valentina Cardenas (bass) and Martin Colombres (guitar), the Santiago, Chile-based shoegazer act MAFF formed back in 2012 but interestingly enough the band can trace its origins to Gómez and Colombres collaborating in a number of local punk bands before starting their latest project, which is largely influenced by The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Pixies, RIDE, Sonic Youth and My Bloody Valentine. Now, if you had been frequenting this site a few years ago, you may recall that the Chilean shoegazers’ self-titled debut received attention both nationally and internationally among musicians, critics and fans for material that thematically explored innocence, mysticism, love, loss, freedom and timelessness among other things.

Since the release of their full-length debut, the acclaimed Colombian shoegazers went on a lengthy hiatus in which Gomez fathered a daughter, Augusta, who wound up inspiring their soon-to-be released EP Melaniña, an effort that derives it’s name from an amalgamation of the word melanin, chosen because Augusta Gomez is slightly albino with the Spanish word for little girl, niña. The album artwork, which was created by the band’s Nicolas Colombres, features an image of little Augusta, who witnessed the entire creative process of the EP.  “During our break between albums, I learned to be a father and learned to play the guitar. I started to write music surrounded by new feelings in my life,” Ricardo Gomez says in press notes. “It is always fascinating to keep learning new things, and I was fortunate to have these two moment’s crash together in the same period of my life. I locked myself in my home studio and started to write music”. “She’s been my source of inspiration,” Gomez continues. “This is my gift to her.”
Melaniña’s latest single “Act 2” was written and conceived as a sequel to “Act 1” off the band’s self-titled album, and as a result the incredibly cinematic instrumental track features some impressive guitar pyrotechnics, with guitars played through effects pedals paired with a propulsive rhythm section — with an expansive yet dreamy vibe familiar to classic shoegaze that also nods at Finelines-era My Vitriol and Collapse Under the Empire.
Directed by Tim Busko, the recently video continues the band’s ongoing collaboration with the Pennsylvania-based director and filmmaker, and much like its predecessor, the black and white video is comprised of shaky, handheld images of household items — radios, teacups, breakfast food, household plants, model planes, kids playing and natural phenomenon with a creepy yet hallucinogenic feel.

Lyric Video: Portland’s Hemmit Captures Youthful Passion in “Friends”

Keith Fleming is a Portland, OR-based multi-instrumentalist, producer and singer/songwriter, who as a drummer, has had stints touring and recording with The Jonny Cohen Love Machine, John Stabb’s Weatherhead and and others, and for being one-half of highly acclaimed indie rock duo Hemmit, with his longtime collaborator, producer, engineer, songwriter and highly sought-after guitarist Adam Rohosy. Interestingly, Hemmit has had their music featured on MTV, Surfline, Bike TV and have received radio airplay from a number of radio stations across the world; in fact, their fifth album Straight Outta Nowhere saw heavy college radio airplay and attention from critics and fans. 

With the six-song EP One Ultra, the long-awaited follow up to their buzz worthy fifth, full-length album, Hemmit has become a solo recording project featuring Keith Fleming, and the EP reportedly consists of indie rock and guitar pop that blends elements of lo-fi garage rock, power pop and 80s synth rock, largely influenced by Ty Segall, Best Coast, Guided by Voices and Sloan; however, the EP’s first single “Friends” sounds as though Fleming was drawing from 90s alt rock — in particular My Vitriol, Blur, Foo Fighters and others, as the song is centered around enormous power chords, a guitar pyrotechnic-fueled solo, thunderous drumming and a rousingly anthemic, arena rock friendly hook. And while swaggering and self-assured, the song is a breakneck, swooning, “you-were-there”-like recollection of youth and youthful passions 

The recently released lyric video for “Friends” is essentially a time capsule, featuring found footage of young people over the course of the past 30 years or so, being young and seemingly carefree. 

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of weeks, you may recall that with the release of their debut single “Ambulance,” the Brooklyn-based indie rock quartet Russian Baths, comprised of Luke Koz, Jess Ress, Evan Gill Smith and Jeff Widner, received attention for a sound that the band has described as nodding at Big Black, 70s space rock, Big Muff and British post punk among others; however, “Slenderman,” off their soon-to-be released EP Penance nodded at brooding, 90s alt rock/120 Minutes-era MTV as the song featured the familiar alternating quiet, loud, quiet song structure — in which you would have had heard shimmering guitar chords, throbbing bass chords and propulsive drumming paired with a rousingly anthemic hook. “What’s In Your Basement” the EP’s next single was an abrasive, mosh-pit worthy song that nodded at Bleach and In Utero-era Nirvana and Finelines-era My Vitriol.

“Poolhouse,” Penance‘s latest single is an expansive, shoegazer-like song that manages to bring Sonic Youth to mind, as the band employs the use of jangling dissonance to create a an eerily gorgeous song that feels immense and downright oceanic.

The Brooklyn-based indie rock act has two upcoming live dates — one of them being a March 15, 2018 opening set at Elsewhere for Frankie Rose. Check out the dates below.

Tour Dates

2/22/18: The Saint — Asbury Park

 

3/15/18 Elsewhere, Zone One — Brooklyn

 

With the release of their debut track “Ambulance,” the Brooklyn-based indie rock quartet Russian Baths, comprised of Luke Koz, Jess Ress, Evan Gill Smith and Jeff Widner, received attention for a sound that the band has described as nodding at Big Black, 70s space rock, Big Muff and British post punk among others; however, “Slenderman,” which I wrote about last month, reminded me much more of brooding, 90s alt rock/120 Minutes-era MTV as the song featured the familiar alternating quiet, loud, quiet song structure — in which you would have had heard shimmering guitar chords, throbbing bass chords and propulsive drumming paired with a rousingly anthemic hook.

 

Interestingly, “What’s In Your Basement,” the latest single off the Brooklyn-based act’s forthcoming EP Penance continues the 90s alt rock vibes — but this time, their latest single is blistering and abrasive, mosh pit worthy grunge rock that brings to mind Bleach and In Utero-era Nirvana and Finelines-era My Vitriol, with a similar balls-to-the-walls self-assuredness.

Penance drops on February 23rd.

 

With last year’s release of their debut single “TrafficLightCyclopsDisco” and their self-titled debut EP, the Manchester, UK-based indie rock trio New Luna, comprised of Tommy Deedigan, Zack Bamber and Toby Duncan, have quickly developed a reputation as being a staple of their hometown’s indie rock/alternative scene while drawing comparisons to Radiohead, Bombay Bicycle Club and The Twilight Sad. Adding to a growing profile,  the Manchester-based trio have opened for the likes of Happiness, Bruising, PLAZA, Trudy and the Romance, as well as played sets at a DIY Magazine showcase, YNOT?, ArcTanGent, Truck and Great Escape Festivals. However, with their latest single, “Opinionated,” the British trio’s sound reminds me a bit of My Vitriol and Blur, thanks to layers of distortion-filled, buzzing power chords, thundering drumming and a rousingly anthemic, mosh-pit friendly hook within a quiet, loud, quiet song structure. And while clearly being inspired by 90s alt rock, the song possesses what may be the most direct social statement they’ve released to date — openly suggesting as the old adage says that opinions are like assholes, everyone’s got one, and they’re usually shitty.

 

 

 

Last month, I wrote about  the Leeds, UK-based shoegazer quintet Colour of Spring and their 120 Minutes-era MTV-like single “Echoes,” a single about “losing the innocence of youth..” The up-and-coming British band, which is comprised of Shane Hunter (vocals, guitar), Robin Deione (guitar), Tom Gregory (bass), Mark Rochman (drums) and Charlie Addison (keys) have receive praise from NME and The Line of Best Fit for a sound that has been compared favorably to Wild Nothing,  Beach Fossils and others. Continuing to build on the buzz they’ve been receiving both in their homeland and elsewhere — including this site — the band has released their latest single “Love,” a towering and swirling bit of classic-leaning shoegaze that while seemingly drawing from RIDE and A Storm in Heaven-era The Verve, manages to also nod at Finelines-era My Vitriol.

As the band’s Shane Hunter explains, “‘Love’ is about the initial prospect of being in love, where everything is confusing, awkward and exciting all at the same time. You’re learning someone else and they’re learning you, all of your idiosyncrasies that you daren’t share with anyone else. There’s so many prominent, strong emotions that it can get really overwhelming. You don’t want to to blow it being your usual stupid self!” And as a result, the song feels like the anxious self-talk of someone trying to psych themselves out and not try to fuck something up — but on a certain level, they’re human and they’ll inevitably find a way to fuck it all up and do it again, as we all do at some point.

New Video: Halifax, Nova Scotia’s Kestrels Return with Another 90s Alt Rock-Channeling Single Paired with Slick Visuals

Interestingly, the Canadian trio’s self-titled effort’s third and latest single “Descent of Their Last End” continues on a similar vein as “No Alternative,” as it’s an anthemic bit of buzzing shoegaze that sounds as though it could have been released in 1993. We’re talking about buzzing power chords, thundering drumming and a propulsive groove that you can mosh to in a sweaty club — but with a hint of what sounds like synths that act like bookends to the song.

The recently released video is comprised of a TV siting in a middle of an urban street, and a suburban back yard with projections of weird psychedelic-like footage in empty rooms, suburban yards and slick split screens.