Tag: punk rock

Over the past month, I’ve managed to write a bit about the Austin, TX-based trio Exhalants, and as you may recall the band which features Steve (guitar, vocals), Bill (bass) and Tommy (drums), a member of Body Pressure, can trace its origins to the breakup of Steve and Bill’s previous band  Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes. With the inevitable downtime that happens when a band breaks up, Steve spent his free time further honing his guitar playing before recruiting his former CSSS bandmate and Tommy to complete the project’s lineup.

Exhalants’ selff-titled debut is slated for release next week, and the soon-to-be released album is largely inspired by ShellacUnwound and Cherubs, while nodding at the work of contemporaries like MelkbellyKal Marks and A Dear A Horse — or in other words, the album’s material finds the band balancing pummeling heaviness with an infectious melodicism; however, the album’s third and latest single “If Only” is a slow-burning grunge-era inspired dirge, centered around pummeling drumming, distortion-fed power chords, howled vocals and an alternating quiet-loud-quiet song structure. Sonically, the new single seems to recall Melvins, Soundgarden, Nirvana and Alice in Chains while maintaining their uncanny sense of melody.  And from the album’s first three singles, Exhalants may be releasing one of the hardest hitting albums of the year.

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Over the course of last year, I wrote about the  Los Angeles, CA-based post-punk act Sextile and since its formation back in 2015, the band has earned a devout following thanks to a reputation for an explosive live show and non-stop touring as either a headliner or opener with the likes of A Place to Bury Strangers, Ty Segall, Thee Oh Sees, The Soft Moon, Ought, ADULT., The Chameleons, Modern English and others — and they’ve played sets at Bersekertown, Cloak & Dagger and Levitation Festivals.
Now, since I’ve last written about them, the act has gone through a massive lineup change that finds the act as a duo featuring Brady Keehn and Melissa Scaduto. And as a result of the lineup changes, the project has shifted towards a decidedly minimalist approach with the duo of Kehn and Scaduto favoring the use of synths over guitars — although with their forthcoming self-recorded, forthcoming EP3 the duo employ the use of a KORG MS-10, a sequencer, a Fender Stratocaster, a LinnDrum and various other percussion-based instruments. The duo also cite futurist Luigi Russolo’s The Art of Noises as an influence on their approach, as their sound and songwriting is meant to evoke and mirror the chaos and brutality of the industrial era; in fact, the EP’s latest single “Spun” is centered around explosive squealing bursts of guitar, scorching synths, thumping beats, industrial clang and clatter and a motorik-ike groove, and it some way the song finds the band meshing the aesthetics of Gang of Four and classic DFA Records (i.e., LCD Soundsystem and The Rapture) — although the song subtly hits at Bay City Rollers‘ “Saturday Night,” thanks to its punchily delivered vocals.  Sonically, the song manages to evoke a civilization gone absolutely mad, inching itself closer to apocalypse — but dancing on its way to the end.

 

The duo of Kehn and Scaduto will be on a lengthy tour to support their new EP. Check out the tour dates below. .

Tour Dates
09.13 Glasgow, UK @ Broadcast
09.14 Newcastle, UK @ Underground
09.15 Manchester, UK @ Soup Kitchen
09.16 Birmingham, UK @ The Cuban Embassy
09.18 London, UK @ Electrowerkz
09.19 Brighton, UK @ The Hope & Ruin
09.20 Portsmouth, UK @ The Edge Of The Wedge
09.21 Le Havre, FR @ Mc Daids
09.22 Angers, FR @ Levitation Festival
09.23 Lyon, FR @ Le Farmer
09.24 Limoges, FR @ El doggo
09.25 Landgraaf, NL @ Oefenbunker
09.26 Antwerp, BE @ TRIX
09.27 Paris, FR @ La Station
09.28 Hamburg, DE @ Karatekeller
09.29 Berlin, DE @ Urban Spree
10.02 San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall ~
10.03 San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall ~
10.12 – 14 Moreno Valley, CA @ Desert Daze

 

 

OBJECT AS SUBJECT is a Los Angeles, CA-based art punk band initially formed as a solo project by Tucson, AZ-born, Los Angeles-based, classically trained violinist, turned punk rocker Paris Hurley (vocals, drums, dance, composition) responding to the rampant sexism and misogyny she experienced while on the road with Balkan punk/metal act Kultur Shock. Hurley is among a handful of incredibly accomplished musicians I’ve written about throughout the years — at 16 she made her Carnegie Hall debut; and shortly after relocating to Seattle in 2003, she found her way into formative decade long collaborations with acclaimed composer and arranged Jherek Bischoff and experimental dance theater collective Degenerative Art Ensemble.

After an 8 year stint with Kultur Shock, Hurley relocated to Los Angeles, where she began assembling OBJECT AS SUBJECT’S current lineup, which includes Emilia “Pony Sweat” Richeson (dance, drums, vocals), Sorority‘s Gina Young (bass, vocals), Tales Between Our Legs’ Megan Fowler-Hurst (dance, drums, vocals) and Hole‘s Patty Schemel (drums).  The band works collaboratively under Hurley’s direction, flushing out hyper-specific, detailed songwriting with the personality of each performer.

The Los Angeles-based art punk act’s full-length debut PERMISSION is slated for a release this Friday through Lost Future Records, and the album’s latest single “Pom Pom Moves” is a furious, blistering, feminist anthem that’s full of righteous outrage and indignation — and while being completely of the sociopolitical moment, the song which is influenced by Hurley’s experiences on the road was written several years before the #metoo and #timesup movements. As Hurley explains:

“I wrote this song in my late 20’s. It came out as a single flood of words written down one day in the tour van with Kultur Shock, before Trump even running for office was part of our collective reality, something like 7 years into an 8 year stint of spending months at a time on the road in Europe, completely inundated by sexism + misogyny. From dudes acting as if I were about to touch an open flame anytime I got near a piece of gear, “No, no, no, no! Don’t touch that! I’ll get it! I’ve got it! It’s not safe for you. Let me show you how it’s done,” to guys grabbing my body and handling me like property in attempts to take photos with me as I walked through a venue, to endless marriage proposals from complete strangers, to hyper-sexualized comments about me and my performances that ignored my role in the band as a fucking fierce musician, to the seething glares of hatred from men at the market, to the unrelenting assumption that I must be the girlfriend of the men I was traveling with, to not feeling safe walking by myself after shows, to inescapably boring and incessant talk about pussy – either getting some, having gotten some, or about how if you didn’t drink enough alcohol or lift heavy shit by yourself, you were one – I was surrounded.

One night after a show in Belgium, a guy asked to see my ‘pom pom moves.’ He felt entitled to his own private show, emboldened by the presence of a group of laughing friends surrounding me, miming the movements he wanted me to do in the air above his head, hips swinging. I think what he really wanted was to see my armpit hair up close. There was that guy at the outdoor festival in Croatia who chanted, ‘Show us your boobs,’ on repeat as I took the stage, the guy in the front row of that show in Serbia who stuck his camera up my skirt while I was on stage performing, oh and the Bosnian border patrol officer who looked through my entire suitcase thing by thing, handling my underwear and vibrator while we were locked in a room together with his gun.

Pom Pom Moves is the telling of these stories – my stories – and the transformation from fear + shame to power that came with owning + voicing them.”

With the release of their highly praised debut EP Minority Girl, the attention-grabbing Brooklyn-based punk rock act Grim Streaker quickly made a name for themselves for an in- your- face-sound and approach that possesses elements of New Wave, noise rock, goth, skater punk, punk and No Wave while drawing comparisons to Twin Peaks, Perfect Pussy and White Lung. Adding to a growing profile, the members of the band, Amelia Bushell (vocals), Daniel Peskin (guitar), Micah Weisberg (guitar), Bill Dvorak (bass) and Piyal Basu (drums), have shared bills with JOVM mainstays METZ and A Place to Bury Strangers, as well as Thunderpussy and Jacuzzi Boys.

The up-and-coming Brooklyn-based punk rock outfit’s latest single “Mojito” will further cement their reputation for crafting snarling and feral punk rock that sounds explosive and unhinged — and evokes a wild night, spiraling out of control. Interestingly, as the band’s Amelia Bushell told Talkhouse, the band’s latest single was inspired by what she describes as an  “unforgettable and bizarre experience that would later influence the surreal lyrics to ‘Mojito.’” As she told Talkhouse:

“Not long after arriving in Cuba, my friends and I met a couple, Chelsea and Taylor, who were heading to Trinidad the same day as us. Chelsea had been before, and told us we absolutely could not miss the secret club hidden in a cave at the top of a hill: ‘Meet us at the cave bar! 10 PM. Just keep following the road up the hill. You’ll think you’ve gone too far but keep going. We’ll be there.’ It sounded unreal.

We arrived in Trinidad the next day, had a late dinner and began the long trek to the cave as the sun began to set. It was exactly as Chelsea had described it. For what seemed like an eternity, we wandered up a dark, twisting road, with nobody in sight.

Just as we began to worry we had taken a wrong turn, the distant sound of a cocktail shaker cut through the night, and a tiny light came into our vision. We stumbled closer over the rough cobblestones. There – in the middle of a pitch-black mountainside road – was a man with a tiny cart, making mojitos.

We each bought a mojito and continued up the steep hill, thinking we must be on the right track now. Just a few steps later, another mojito cart appeared, seemingly out of nowhere. We chugged the first round, ordered a second, and joked about how we should stop at every single cart we saw (we did).

When we finally made it to the top of the hill, we were surprised to see a small crowd standing outside the entrance to the cave. It was real! We couldn’t believe it. Chelsea and Taylor appeared moments later. After a suspenseful wait, the doors creaked open and we made our way down a long staircase into multiple chambers of cavernous glory. It was like nothing I had ever seen before. People were smoking, drinking and dancing in the dimly-lit subterranean club. There were disco lights, a full bar, music and even restrooms.

After we stumbled out of the cave at the end of the night, we decided to go on a mojito ‘pilgrimage’ down the mountain, once again stopping at every single mojito cart. After three or four more mojitos, we got take-away pizza at the bottom of the hill and headed back to our hostel.

I vaguely remember waking up the next day completely naked and feeling as hungover as ever. I figured some fresh air and a walk would do me good, and started up the street toward the town center. On the way I passed the remnants of the pizza I was eating the night before, now spewed all over the road, and laughed out loud.”

Grim Streaker’s new single comes as they announced a handful of dates this summer that includes a show tonight at Baby’s All Right and an August 18, 2018 stop at the Knitting Factory. Check out the tour dates below.

Grim Streaker on Tour:
7/29: Brooklyn, NY @ Baby’s All Right (w/ Bass Drum of Death)
8/18: Brooklyn, NY @ Knitting Factory (w/ Agent Orange)
8/20: Columbus, OH @ The Tree Bar
8/21: Chicago, IL @ Charm School
8/22: Detroit, MI @ Trixie’s
8/23: Toronto, ON @ Monarch Tavern
8/24: Montreal, QC @ L’Esco (w/ FRIGS)
8/25: Quebec City, QC @ Le Knock-Out

Initially formed back in 2010 as a trio, Cincinnati, OH-based punk rock act Vacation quickly released a slew of tapes, singles and albums through a number of DIY labels while playing pop-inspired punk shows throughout the Midwest and the rest of the country. Since their formation, the band has expanded into a quartet while managing to balance prolificacy with a relentless touring schedule that has had the Cincinnati-based punk rockers opening for the likes of The Breeders, JOVM mainstays Screaming Females, The Black Lips, and others.

Back in 2016 Vacation recorded a two-part album Southern Grass: The Continuation of Rock ‘n’ Roll, a miscellaneous collection of basement punk ephemera, and by the time of the album’s release that July, the members of the band had returned to the studio to write and record their latest album Mouth Sounds #2699 slated for a release through Bloomington, IN-based Let’s Pretend Records later this week. Engineered by The Afghan Whigs‘ John Curley at Ultraseude StudioMouth Sounds #2699 reportedly finds the band at their most experimental with songs that nod at Tom Petty, krautrock and punk rock; in fact, the album’s latest single “Deflector Head” is a prime example of what the band specializes in — ragged, gritty and rousingly anthemic punk with decidedly Cheap Trick-like power pop leanings. It’s the sort of song that you should raise your beer as high as possible and shout along lustily to the hook — as rock ‘n’ roll should make you do.

 

Currently comprised of founding trio Jack Lantern (vocals), James Burgess (guitar), and Tom Pitts (guitar) with new additions Victor Jakeman (bass), Tom Pitt (drums) and Sev Black (keys), the London-based punk act Claw Marks can trace their origins to when its founding trio were in Austin, TX for SXSW with different bands back in 2013 — Lantern and Pitts were members of Human Hair, while Burgess was a member of Boneyards. As the story goes, Lantern, Burgess and Pitts got lost waling down a highway in the Texan desert when they came to the realization that they wanted to make something much more aggressive, that would channel the likes of Swans and The Birthday Party, but while maintaining the pop sensibility that won Human Hair attention. Ultimately, they felt the need to prove that you can make records that could sound like The Jesus Lizard or The Pop Group — without taking yourself too seriously.

For several years, the band primarily existed as a live outfit, playing raucous, riotous shows across their native London — including a memorable 3am first gig at an abandoned pub. “It was my birthday, and intoxicants may have been involved,” the band’s Jack Lantern recalls. “The show cemented us as a band, because we were playing in the confines of a place that was so similar to the spine of what we were trying to put across. The place was dilapidated, the walls were falling down, and when we started playing, the ceiling started shaking, and dust was raining down on us. And then somebody let off a fire extinguisher halfway through the set, and we were covered in dust and foam.”

With the addition of Jakeman, Pitt and Black, the band continued to develop their overall aesthetic, balancing a chaotic live, stage presence with very specific ideas about lyrical imagery and content. “It’s abotu putting weird images to song,” Lantern, who is also a poet says in press notes. “Usually, they’re a bit disgusting – an armpit full of lice, for example. Or a crab covering your arsehole and stopping anybody from trying to climb in there. We’ve got one song about evil, silent cops staring us down while rubbing their truncheons in their mouths. You know, that kind of thing.”

However, their debut album together has taken five years to write and record — with some of the songs dating back to when the band first started. The members of the band kept returning to East London’s Sound Savers Studio, where they were afforded time and space by co-owner Henry Withers, who was a former bandmate of Lantern’s, to continually refine the material, and eventually their overall sound. In fact, every time they returned, the songs evolved in a rather unpredictable fashion. “I’ve been telling people that the album aged like a fine wine, because it took so long to come together,” Lantern says. “But actually, I’d liken it more now to a slab of rotten meat. We allowed it to fester, and every time we came back to it, there’d be more flies buzzing around it, and this new form of bacteria growing on the chords.”

Ultimately, Claw Marks long-anticipated full-length album Hee Hee reportedly is an unapologetically and nasty collection of punk rock songs that thematically speaking range from the absurd to the political — but much like Tom Waits, the songs having a fucked up, off-kilter, whiskey-fueled vibe. “Swallow U,” Hee Hee‘s latest single is noisy and furious punk rock centered around distortion bathed guitar chords, forceful drumming and howled lyrics and while sonically, the song brings to mind Rollins Band‘s Weight and Get Some Go Again but with an absurdist bent, as the song according to the band is literally about a man who walks down the street, eating everything in his path. What makes the track intriguing to me is the fact that it effortlessly meshes art rock with furious, mosh pit friendly punk.

 

Deriving their name from a British English word that means to be an avant-gardist — one who emphasizes, practices and celebrates experimental and unorthodox methods and techniques and incorporates them into a craft, Avantist is a South Side, Chicago-based post-punk act, comprised of the Arias Brothers, Luis (drums), David (guitar), Erick (bass) and Fernando (vocals). And over the past decade, the sibling band has dedicated their live stop making avant-garde music, centered around their shared personal philosophy that art is, should and must be progressive, dynamic and unconventional, and that creativity is something to incorporate in every single aspect of one’s life. \
Now, over the past few weeks I’ve written quite a bit about the Chicago-based sibling band, and as you may recall the band’s recently released EP Terasaoma finds the band stepping out of their comfort zone as they forced themselves to write, record, mix and master the EP’s material within a month, rather than the two years it took for their debut. And while further cementing the Arias Brothers reputation locally and regionally for crafting raucous and infectious post-punk, the band also manages to push their sound and songwriting in new and wildly different directions; in fact, the EP’s material runs the gamut from angular and furious post-punk to soulful R&B. EP single “this_could_be_it” was a thrashing and angular post-punk ripper that featured Fernando Arias singing alternating lyrics in Spanish and English. Interestingly, the EP’s latest single is the furious, screamo, thrash punk of “UVB_76,” a track that sonically reminds me a bit of Thrice and The Blood Brothers, thanks in part to its pummeling intensity.
The Arias Brothers are currently on the road to support the EP. Check out the remaining tour dates below.
Tour Dates
6/25 – Austin, TX – Beerland (w/ The Boleys, Desilu, Black Basements)
6/26 – Spring, TX – The Blue Giraffe (w/ Brainstorm fir Tuesday, Kaleidescope Project, and Zzyzx)
6/28 – Birmingham, AL – Firehouse (w/ False Jasmine, Bible Belt, Mike Hombre)
6/29 – Nashville, TN – Betty’s Grill
6/30 – Louisville, KY – Lydia House (w/ Wax Astro, Legs Akimbo)
7/01 – Champaign, IL – Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center (w/ Arboris, Parachute Day)

New Video: Up-and-Coming Melbourne-based Punk Rockers Bakers Eddy Release Mischievous and Colorful Visuals for “Good Decisions”

Comprised of CJ Babbington (guitar, vocals), Ian Spagnolo (bass, vocals), Jamie Gordon (drums, vocals), and Alex Spagnolo (guitar, vocals), the up-and-coming Melbourne, Australia-based indie rock act Bakers Eddy initially formed in Wellington, New Zealand. And since their formation back in 2009, the band has made quite a name from themselves across both New Zealand’s and Australia’s punk rock scenes; not only have they opened for Gang of Youths, The Rubens and the Grammy-nominated act Highly Suspect, they’ve received airplay from Amazing Radio, praise from Pilerats and Tone Deaf. And adding to a growing profile, the band has played their homeland’s festival circuit with sets at Homegrown, Rock the Park and Going Global Music Summit — and earlier this year they made their live debut on British shores with a set at The Great Escape Festival (which they followed with some stops in Germany). 

The New Zealand-born, Melbourne-based band’s Tom Larkin-produced EP I’m Not Making Good Decisions was released earlier this year and the  EP’s latest single is 90s grunge rock, power chord bruiser “Good Decisions,” a track that the band describes as ac coming of age tale about “spending all your money on partying so you can’t pay the bills. Making silly decisions!” Unsurprisingly, the song is deeply inspired by the experience of the band’s members relocating from their native New Zealand to Melbourne where they “were all living together for the first time in a new country and probably having too much fun.”  

Directed by Fagan Wilcox, the recently released video follows a day in the life of the band, who quickly suspect that the house they live in was once a swingers pad. “There is a fully working spa bath in the middle of our hallway, you can see Jamie sleeping in it in the video.” the band says.  Throughout, there’s the sense that the band parties hard — harder than most, but the footage is grainy and damaged. And as Wilcox says “the execution was always going to have the footage destroyed. The idea was to make it raw and low budget using effects, but rather than just pop a filter on it with a VHS effect, we used pixel bending and channel blending to add an intensity to the final edit.”