Tag: Steve Albini

 

 

Featuring members of well-regarded bands Foul Tip, Touched by Ghoul and Lil Tits, the members of Chicago-based punk band Lifestyles may be arguably be the most accomplished musicians in their hometown’s scene. Recently, the members of Lifestyles teamed up with another Chicago punk band Meat Wave to record a split 7 inch at Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio Studios that No Trend Records! will be releasing on October 26, 2018. Add some Chicago style hot dogs at The Weiner’s Circle, some thin crust pizza at Aurelio’s and some Jeppson’s Malort and the split 7 inch may be the most Chicagoan thing ever. Seriously though, the split 7 inch’s first official single is Lifestyles contribution to the proceedings — the pummeling and grungy “Wail,” centered by Hanna Hazard’s roaring vocals and a breakneck, most pit friendly tempo.

Sonically, the song recalls the likes of Babes in Toyland, The Wipers and The Misfits — and although it may arguably be one of the fastest songs in their growing catalog, the band actually has a reputation for employing experimental song structures and otherworldly vocals to carve out their own unique take on punk and grunge. Interestingly, the song which is dedicated to the memory of Hüsker Dü’s Grant Hart is inspired by the band’s long-held obsession with cults — particularly Scientology. And as the band carefully notes “It’s about how any written contract among friends or practitioners of a shared belief is inherently a negative and suspicious thing – if one requires a signed contract to prove trust, then that person is clearly indicating they have no trust.”

Lifestyles is about to return to the Electrical Audio Studios to record their sophomore album. Be on the lookout for that one.

 

 

Advertisements

Throughout this site’s eight-plus year history, I’ve written quite a bit about the New York-based act Dead Waves. The band has gone through a series of lineup changes and in that same period — but one thing has been consistent, the band’s primary songwriting and founding duo, brothers Teddy and Nick Panopoulos. Interestingly, the band’s sixth, full-length album, the Martin Bisi-produced God of the Wild finds the duo making a decided change in sonic direction and songwriting approach, moving away from the power chord-based garage rock/grunge rock of their early releases — including, the Steve Albini-produced “Oracles of the Grave”/”Promise” 7″ — towards a more experimental, minimalist  and free-flowing approach with the material focusing on bare-boned arrangements of guitar, synths, vocals without any percussion; in fact, God of the Wild‘s dark yet hauntingly lush and minimalist first single “Astrapi” is centered around towering layers of looping and droning guitar chords, burst of feedback and howled vocals.

While still retaining an element of the heaviness that first captured the attention of this site and the rest of the blogosphere, the new material finds the New York-based duo’s sound seemingly drawing from Directions to See a Ghost-era Black Angels, Sonic Youth and Swans — but with a patient, painterly vibe, as each layer is carefully and deliberated placed atop another. As the band’s Teddy Panopolous explained to CVLT Nation, For this album we really wanted to go clean slate. Not listening to anything while creating, just delving into our feelings and blanking everything out. Feelings of loneliness, happiness, sadness. How this concept of time, in what we perceive as reality, goes by so quick. Loved ones passing away, ourselves getting older. Just trying to enjoy the now, the feeling of just being and trying to enjoy, but all the while with that certain lingering sadness.”

 

 

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Screaming Females Return with One of Their Most Anthemic Radio Friendly Singles to Date

Over the past few years, I’ve written quite a bit about the  New Brunswick, NJ-based JOVM mainstays Screaming Females. Comprised of Marissa Paternoster (guitar, vocals), King Mike (bass) and Jared Dougherty (drums), the trio cut their teeth playing their hometown’s renowned all-ages basement, punk rock scene; however, with the release of  2012’s Steve Albini-engineered Ugly, 2014’s forceful and raw live album, Live from the Hideout and 2015’s Matt Bayles-produced Rose Mountain, the Central New Jersey-based band received wider exposure from NPR, Last Call with Carson Daly and MTV.  Adding to a growing profile, the members of Screaming Females have toured with a number of internationally and nationally known acts including Garbage, Throwing Muses, Dinosaur, Jr., The Dead Weather, Arctic Monkeys, Ted Leo and The Pharmacists, JEFF the Brotherhood, Little Lungs, Cheeky, The Ergs, Shellsshag and others.

2015’s Rose Mountain was a decided change in songwriting and recording approach, with the band writing arguably some of the most concise, melodic and accessible material they’ve released, while retaining the blazing guitar work and muscular insistence of their previously recorded work. Up until last year, a couple of years had passed since they had released new material, and “Black Moon,” the first single off their recently released All At Once not only continues their ongoing collaboration with Matt Bayles, it also reveals a band that’s restlessly experimenting with their songwriting approach and song; in the case of “Black Moon,” there’s a continued attention on a forceful conciseness but a greater attention to crafting razor sharp hooks while thematically, Paternoster meshes the metaphor of a post apocalyptic earth with the universal experience of a relationship that has ended in a rather embittering, frustrating and demoralizing fashion.

Interestingly, with All At Once, the band reportedly set out set out to write an album in the spirit of a salon-style gallery show, where the larger pieces provide an eye-level focal point to a galaxy or smaller works — and as a result of a more expansive thematic reach, the members of the band openly and decidedly focused on experimentation with arrangements and song structure to evoke the energy and spontaneity of their live sets. As the band’s Mike Dougherty explains of their motivation “When you’ve been a band for 12 or 13 years, the resources can dry and you just go back to what feels comfortable. The other option is that you develop stuff that a younger band would not have been able to do.”

You might recall that All At Once’s first official single “Glass House” found the band embracing a simplicity — with Paternoster playing two relatively simple riffs in a 90s grunge rock structure paired with some incredibly melodic vocals. “A song like ‘Glass House’ is something we knew we were capable of, but it took a while to fully embrace,” Paternoster says in press notes. “It’s something very simple — just bass, drums and two simple riffs. In the past, I might have insisted on adding more. Practicing self-restraint is something I have consciously been trying to do.” The album’s second official single, “I’ll Make You Sorry” may be one of the more decidedly straightforward, arena rock friendly songs they’ve released to date, bolstered by Paternoster’s powerhouse vocals. While reminding the listener that she may be small but that she roars with a mighty, oceanic force.

Directed by Lance Bangs, the recently released video features the band performing the song in an abandoned loft space with the band’s Paternoster beginning the video laying on the floor or in rubble, before seeing the entire band shred.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve written quite a bit about the New Brunswick, NJ-based JOVM mainstays Screaming Females. Comprised of Marissa Paternoster (guitar, vocals), King Mike (bass) and Jared Dougherty (drums), the trio can trace their origins to a band that Paternoster and King Mike formed while in high school — and after a series of lineup changes that band had finally settled to their current lineup, before changing their name to Screaming Females. Now, as you may recall the trio got their start in their hometown’s all-ages basement scene; but with the release of 2012’s Steve Albini-engineered Ugly, 2014’s forceful live album, and 2015’s Matt Bayles-produced Rose Mountain, the Central New Jersey-based band received wider exposure from NPRLast Call with Carson Daly and MTV, and adding to a growing profile, the members of the band have toured with internationally and nationally known acts like Garbage, Throwing Muses, Dinosaur, Jr., The Dead Weather, Arctic Monkeys, Ted Leo and The Pharmacists, JEFF the Brotherhood, Little Lungs, Cheeky, The Ergs, Shellsshag and others.

2015’s Rose Mountain was a decided change in songwriting and recording approach, with the band writing arugably some of the most concise, melodic and accessible material they’ve released, while retaining the blazing guitar work and muscular insistence of their previously recorded work; however, it’s been some time since there’s been new, original material from the New Jersey-based punk rockers — that is until now. “Black Moon,” the band’s latest single continues in a similar vein as the material on Rose Mountain with band focusing on crafting tight, yet rousingly anthemic hooks. And while adding to a growing collection of radio friendly material, the band manages to remind the listener that Paternoster is one of the baddest guitar players in the world.

Lyrically speaking the song meshes a larger metaphor on earth abandoning humanity but fed through the fairly universal experience of a relationship ending in a rather bitter and frustrating fashion, which gives an underlying sneering forcefulness.

New Video: The Surreal and Feverish Visuals for METZ’s “Cellophane”

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. 

New Audio: METZ Returns with an Urgent and Forceful Call to Stand Up for What You Believe In

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of years, you’d recall that the  Toronto, ON-based JOVM mainstay act METZ 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 third, full-length album is slated for a September 22, 2017 release 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 — in fact, thematically, the material may arguably be the most politically-charged yet personal material written to date, presumably inspired by life in the age of Donald Trump and a sociopolitical climate in which everything seems to be 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 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, was 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.”

“Mess of Wires,” Strange Peace’s third and latest single finds the trio at their most furious  and most punishing, as the song features pummeling drums, scorching guitar lines and punchily delivered, shout worthy lyrics and hooks. And while being a face melting, mosh pit worthy track, the song is underpinned by a visceral honesty and self-examination while being an earnest, urgent and forceful shout to the listener that now is the time to stand up for the things you believe in before they’re smashed to bits — or worse, before they’re taken away from you. As the band’s Edkins explains in press notes “‘Mess of Wires’ is a reminder to myself to speak out and say what I believe. To be honest with myself. It is common to feel that your thoughts are inconsequential, a drop in the echo-chamber, but silence can be worse. Speak out about what you believe in, loud and often.” 

New Audio: JOVM Mainstays METZ Return with a Jagged and Anthemic Post-Post Punk Ode to Being Yourself at All Costs

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. Now, as you may know their third, full-length album Strange Peace is slated for a September 22, 2017 release through Sub Pop Records, and the album, which the trio recorded with Steve Albini at Chicago’s Electrical Audio Studio live to tape, with home recordings and instrumentation added by their longtime collaborator, engineer and mixer Graham Walsh back in Toronto. And the new album reportedly finds the band pushing their sound and songwriting into a new direction while retaining the furious and intense energy of their live shows; in fact, the material thematically speaking may be among the most political yet personal material they’ve written to date, capturing the thoughts and emotions of young people in the age of Trump. “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 and latest 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,” 

The members of the Toronto-based punk rock act will be embarking on a North American tour to build up buzz and then support their new effort and it includes two NYC area dates — October 4, 2017 at Music Hall of WIlliamsburg and October 5, 2017 at the Bowery Ballroom. 

If you’ve been frequenting this site over the past few years, you’ve come across a number of posts featuring the Toronto, ON-based trio Metz, comprised of Alex Edkins (guitar, vocals), Hayden Menzies (drums) and Chris Slorach (bass), and as you may recall with the 2014 release of their self-titled debut and 2015’s sophomore effort II, the Toronto-based punk rock trio have received attention across their native Canada and internationally for a sludgy, face-melting, power chord-based sound reminiscent of Bleach and In Utereo-era Nirvana, A Place to Bury StrangersJapandroids and others.

The band’s third full-length effort Strange Peace is slated for a September 22, 2017 through Sub Pop Records and the album, which the trio recored at Chicago‘s Electrical Audio Studio with Steve Albini live to tape, with additional home recordings and instrumentation recorded with their longtime collaborator, engineer and mixer Graham Walsh in Toronto, reportedly finds the band pushing their sound and songwriting into a completely different territory — while capturing the intense energy of their live set. As the band’s Alex Eadkins explains 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 an fears. They’re about finding some semblance of peace within the chaos.”

Interestingly, as you’ll hear on “Cellophane,” Strange Peace‘s first single, the band retains its sledgehammer-like forcefulness, sludgy power chords and rousing hooks but there’s a hard-fought maturity — the sort that comes from living in an increasingly fearful, uncertain, fucked up world that feels as though it’s spinning faster and faster towards disaster. And in some way, the band and the song seem to say “hey man, we’re scared out of our fucking minds and we have no idea what to do, but we have each other and somehow, someway we’ll figure it out.” Perhaps, if we were to consider the strangeness of our own world and our own politics, we should take comfort in each other and hold on as tight as possible.