Over the course of this past year, I’ve written a bit Aarhus, Denmark-based indie rock act Twin Dive. And as you may recall, the Danish alt rock act formed back in 2018 when its founding duo of Robert Jancevich (vocals, guitar) and Ragnar “Raggi” Gudmunds (drums) met and bonded over a mutual passion for all things rock ‘n’ roll. Since then, the band has split their time between the studio and live gigs honing and polishing their sound while releasing material that has been compared favorably to Foo Fighters, The Hives and others. During that same period, Charlotte Mortensen (bass) joined the band, helping the band bolster their sound.
Building upon a growing profile in their native Denmark and across Scandinavia, the band played at this year’s Spot Festival, which caught the attention of Drowned in Sound, who picked the band as one of the best acts of the festival — and they just recently finished a tour of Finland with Finnish act Ursus Factory. Earlier this year, I wrote about the grungy “Animal,” a track that recalls 120 Minutes-era alt rock — i.e., Alice in Chains, Stone Temple Pilots and the like — while thematically, the song was about knowing and taming one’s inner animal.
The rapidly rising Danish trio’s latest single “Holly” continues a run of grungy, power chord-driven material that draws from 120 Minutes-era alt rock. In fact, because of an arrangement centered around heavily pedal effected and jagged power chords, thunderous drumming and howled vocals the band’s latest single may arguably be the most indebted to Bleach and In Utero-era Nirvana of their entire catalog — but at its core. the song explores the unending battle between our sense of self and our ego in a way that’s partially ironic.
Directed by Mark Vesterlund, the recently released and incredibly cinematic video is a surreal fever dream featuring a troupe of older Asian women doing traditional dances to the song — and while it’s an odd juxtaposition, the visual is meant to leave the interpretation of its message and meaning to the viewer.
Eva Lawitts is a New York-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, who has been both a session and touring musician for the likes of Vagabon and Princess Nokia. Lawitts is also known for being one-half of the production and engineering team at Brooklyn-based Wonderpark Studios.
Lawitts’ recording project Stimmerman finds the New York-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer stepping out into the limelight as a solo artist — and as a musical force to be reckoned with. Interestingly, Lawitts’ Stimmerman full-length debut Goofballs is slated for release at the end of the this year. And as the New York-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer explains in press notes, “the album is more or less about loss and survivor’s guilt: it’s a meditation on a friend’s fatal overdose at a young age through that lens. Side A of the album focuses on looking back at the environment in which our friendship started — pressures imposed on chidden to be successful, growing up too fast in all the wrong ways, and the often debauched nature of our great and terrible adolescence here in Brooklyn. Side B centers me more as an unreliable narrator, and features songs about grief and culpability in a close friend’s death, some of which are, I believe, misguided.”
“The name ‘Goofballs’ is twofold,” Lawitts continues. “I think this album recaptures some of the sense of humor my other projects have had that the first Stimmerman EP lacked, and of course, there is the drug allusion — ‘Goofballs’ meaning barbiturates or any cocktail thereof.”
Goofballs‘ second and latest single “It Shows” is built around a classic grunge rock song structure — alternating quiet verses and loud choruses, featuring enormous, arena rock friendly power chords, thunderous drumming and howled vocals. And while bearing a resemblance to Bleach-era Nirvana, PJ Harvey and others, the song evokes the uneasy internal struggle of its narrator, a character, who simultaneously strikes out against themselves and others, to no avail or satisfaction.
I’ve written quite a bit about the Southern California-based punk trio Warish over the past 18 months or so and the act, which features founding members Riley Hawk (guitar, vocals) and Bruce McDonnell (drums) formed last year when its founding duo wanted to try their hand at something a bit more distinct than what they had previous done.“We wanted to do simpler riffs and a fun live show,” Hawk explains in press notes. “A little more punk, a little bit of grunge… a little evil-ish.” Their sound reportedly draws from a variety of things — early Butthole Surfers, Scratch Acid, Incesticide-era Nirvana, Static Age-era Misfits and others, and with the release of their first two EPs, the band quickly established themselves for crafting scuzzy, mosh pit friendly rippers with an aggressively sleazy Troma Films-inspired vibe.
Building upon a rapidly growing profile, the members of Warish will be releasing their highly-anticipated full-length debut, Down In Flames through RidingEasy Records on September 13, 2019. Down In Flames’ first single “Healter Skelter” isn’t a Beatles cover. but rather the title refers to the Manson Family’s misspelled blood scrawl at the site of the group’s second murder in 1969. Centered around thunderous drumming, scuzzy power chords and howled vocals — and while clearly recalling Bleach and Incesticde-era Nirvana, the song may arguably be among the most menacing of their growing catalog of mosh pit friendly rippers.
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.
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.
Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past three years or so you, you’d recall that with their 2014 self-titled debut and their 2015 sophomore effort II, the Toronto, ON-based trio and JOVM mainstays METZ, comprised of Alex Eadkins (vocals, guitar), Chris Slorach (bass) and Hayden Menzies (drums), received attention across North America and elsewhere for a sludgy, face-melting, power chord-based, noise punk/thrash punk sound reminiscent of Bleach and In Utereo-era Nirvana, A Place to Bury Strangers, Japandroids and others.
The band’s third full-length album Strange Peace was released earlier this year through Sub Pop Records, and the album finds the band actively pushing their sound and songwriting in new directions while retaining the furious and blistering energy of their live shows; but perhaps much more importantly, Strange Peace may arguably be among the most politically charged material they’re written and recorded to date, capturing the uncertainty, fear, divisiveness, bitterness and growing socioeconomic inequality of the age of Trump, Putin, Kim Jong Un, rampant capitalism and so on. As the band’s Alex Eadkins explained in press notes, “The songs on Strange Peace are about uncertainty. They’re about recognizing that we’re not always in control of our own fate, and about admitting our mistakes and fears. They’re about finding some semblance of peace within the chaos.”
The Canadian punk trio have been relentlessly touring to support their latest album and throughout most of November, they were touring throughout the European Union, and the tour included a stop at Paris-based music venue Le Trabendo, which was filmed by ARTE Concert and La Blogotheuqe as part of their continuing concert series, Snapshots. Unsurprisingly, the footage of Strange Peace’s “Mr. Plague” and “Eraser” manages to capture the band within their sweaty, strobe light flashing, intensity, forcefully snatching the title of “World’s Loudest Band,” and “World’s Noisiest Band” from all challengers. While in the past, they would play extremely straightforward versions of their material, this Paris set finds the trio gently teasing new musical ideas from bits of inspired improvisation. Along with the band’s passionate and frenzied performance, check out the French audience, who are absolutely losing their shit to these guys
With 2014’s self-titled debut and 2015’s sophomore effort II, the Toronto, ON-based trio METZ received attention across their native Canada and elsewhere for a sludgy, face-melting, power-chord based sound reminiscent of Bleach and In Utereo-era Nirvana, A Place to Bury Strangers, Japandroids and others, and unsurprisingly, the Toronto-based punk trio quickly became mainstays on this site. And as you may know, the trio’s third, full-length album Strange Peace was released last month through renowned label Sub Pop Records, and the new album finds the band pushing their sound and songwriting into a new direction while retaining the furious and intense energy of their live shows; but importantly, the material on the album may be among the most politically-charged material they’ve written to date, seemingly capturing the thoughts and emotions of young people in the increasingly unstable age of Trump, Putin, Kim Jong Un, etc. “The songs on Strange Peace are about uncertainty. They’re about recognizing that we’re not always in control of our own fate, and about admitting our mistakes and fears,” the band’s Alex Eakins explained in press notes. “They’re about finding some semblance of peace within the chaos.”
“Cellophane,” Strange Peace‘s first single found the Canadian punk trio retaining the sledgehammer forcefulness, sludgy power chords and rousing hooks that first caught the attention of the blogosphere and this site, but there’s an underlying, hard-fought maturity — the sort that come as a result of living in an increasingly fearful, uncertain, fucked up world, that feels as though it’s spinning faster and faster towards disaster. And interestingly enough, “Cellophane” seems to say to the listener, “hey man we’re scared out of our fucking minds, too; but we have each other and somehow we’ve gotta stick together and figure it out.” “Drained Lake,” Strange Peace‘s second single, is a jagged and propulsive post-post-punk track with layers of blistering and scuzzy guitars, punchily delivered lyrics and thunderous drumming with the use of a lurching synth line for what I think may be the first time in the band’s history; but while being a revealing look into a band that’s begun to restlessly experiment and expand upon their sound, it also finds the band at their most strident and searching, while being a sneering anthemic “fuck off” to those who don’t — and perhaps can never — see you for who you are. As the band’s Eadkins explained in press notes, the song reflects, “the constant struggle to know yourself and make sense of your life and surroundings. What is my purpose? Holding on to who you are while finding off pressure to bend to what other people want and expect from you.”
Directed by Shayne Ehman, featuring video production from Cricket Cave, the part live action and animated video for “Drained Lake stars Michelle Chug and Woodchip, the cat and will continue the band’s reputation for pairing their music with incredibly vivid visuals — in this case, animated anthropomorphic fork figures playing instruments, a woman that turns into a cat and more.
As it’s turned out, over the past week or two, I’ve focused on a number of JOVM mainstays, who are set to release new material throughout the next few weeks — including the Toronto, ON-based punk rock trio METZ. And as you may recall, the Canadian punk trio exploded into the blogosphere with 2014’s self titled debut and 2015’s sophomore effort II, thanks in part to a sludgy, face-melting, power-chord based sound reminiscent of Bleach and In Utereo-era Nirvana, A Place to Bury Strangers, Japandroids and others.
The trio’s highly-anticipated, full-length album is slated for release tomorrow through Sub Pop Records, and the the album, which the trio recorded with the legendary Steve Albini at Chicago’s Electrical Audio Studio live to tape and features home recordings and additional instrumentation added by their longtime collaborator, engineer and mixer Graham Walsh back in Toronto. Reportedly, the new album finds the band pushing their sound and songwriting in a new direction while retaining the furious and intense energy of their live shows — while thematically, the material may arguably be the most politically-charged yet personally written material to date, presumably at least partially influenced by life in the age of Donald Trump, and an urgent sociopolitical climate in which everything seems to be constantly spiraling out of control. “The songs on Strange Peace are about uncertainty. They’re about recognizing that we’re not always in control of our own fate, and about admitting our mistakes and fears,” the band’s Alex Eakins explained in press notes. “They’re about finding some semblance of peace within the chaos.”
“Cellophane,” Strange Peace‘s first single finds the Canadian punk trio retaining the sledgehammer forcefulness, sludgy power chords and rousing hooks that first caught the attention of the blogosphere and this site, but there’s an underlying, hard-fought maturity and vulnerability within the song — the sort that recognizes that the world can frequently be an unforgivably brutal, unfair and frightening place, and that although there no easy answers, we can (and should) take comfort from others, and fight for them as much as we’d fight for ourselves.
The recently released video for “Cellophane” was directed by Shayne Ehman and as he explains in press notes, the visuals “depict a sphere where consciousness is split, and a world of contrast unfolds. The resulting disembodiment disperses one’s spatial awareness and new kinds of empathy develop. Two become three, and it’s only half the story . . . ” Oh, and there’s an adorably goofy, rock throwing octopus, too.