Tag: Topshelf Records

With the release of their 2015 debut Rapid Rewards, the Chicago-based trio Clearance,  comprised of Mike Bellis, Kevin Fairbairn, and Arthur Velez, have developed a reputation for witty and observational indie rock that draws inspiration from 60s bubblegum pop, jangling ’80s New Zealand indie rock, 90s slacker rock and even contemporary acts like Omni, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever and others. The band’s sophomore effort At Your Leisure is slated for a July 27, 2018 release through Topshelf Records and the album thematically draws a bit from the trials and tribulations of an indie rock band in the today’s music industry — with the album’s title being a joking play on the glacial pace of the the album release cycle; but the album is also reportedly the culmination of a number of long tours, breakneck writing sessions and the bandmembers evolving friendship as they’ve become older and wiser.
Sonically speaking, At Your Leisure is a love letter guitar pop and the guitar pop song; in fact, the majority of the album’s songs came about after Bellis made a trip to New Zealand back in 2016. And as a result, the songs are reportedly breezier, more propulsive and with razor sharp hooks; in fact, the album’s latest single “Haven’t You Got The Time” features jangling and shimmering guitar chords, a propulsive rhythm section and an infectious hook  — and while displaying a winning, radio friendly sound, the song manages to be far darker and cynical than it’s initially sunny vibe, as it was written during the messy and bittersweet disintegration of a relationship. Unlike most songs of its ilk, the song’s narrator recognizes that his partner has emotionally left some time ago, and is looking for a way out and away from him, and it gives the song an old and familiar ache.

 

 

Live Footage: Renowned Post Rock Duo El Ten Eleven Perform the Meditative Yet Cinematic “Phenomenal Problems” off Forthcoming Album

Comprised of Kristian Dunn (double-neck bass/guitar) and Tim Fogarty (drums), the Southern California-based post rock duo El Ten Eleven have developed a reputation for using a dizzying array of effect pedals and looping pedals to create a dense, complex, enormous and incredibly cinematic sound.  And since their formation back in 2002, the band has been steadfastly DIY in their approach, producing and recording their own records; however, with their forthcoming, seventh full-length album, and first for Topshelf Records, Banker’s Hill, the duo enlisted Sonny Dipierri, who has worked with Animal Collective and Dirty Projectors to produce the album, marking the first time that they’ve ever worked with an outside producer.

Slated for an August 10, 2018 release, the album reportedly finds the duo thematically explore the paradoxical beauty in anxiety, the importance of family and familial bonds, particularly in a world gone absolutely mad, and the fleeting possibility of satisfaction. Interestingly, the album’s first single “Phenomenal Problems” finds the duo deliberately walking a tightrope between an introspective and meditative nature and a widescreen, cinematic quality as the composition is centered around a propulsive boom bap-like beats and drumming, enormous, arena rock friendly power chord-based hooks within a twisting and turning song structure. And while the song will further cement their established reputation for crafting the densely layered and deceptively complex compositions, the new single is a subtle expansion of the duo’s sound and songwriting. 

This recently released live footage captures both the simpatico between Dunn and Fogarty while being a revealing and up-close-and-personal view of the musicians’ technical and musical prowess; after all for a duo, they manage to craft a sound that makes you think that there’s 4, 5 maybe even 6 musicians. 

New Video: Tokyo, Japan’s LITE and Their Funky Take on Prog Rock

Comprised of Nobuyuki Takeda (guitar), Kozo Kusumoto (guitar / synthesizer), Jun Ozawa (bass) and Akinori Yamamoto (drums), the Tokyo, Japan-based instrumental rock band LITE have over their 14 years together and four full-length albums and six EPs developed both a national and international profile for mischievously playful and complex compositions featuring edgy riffs, complex rhythms and a prog rock and math rock-leaning sensibility, a well-regarded live show and a relentless touring schedule across the US, Europe and Asia. And with “-D,” the first single off the Japanese quartet’s fifth full-length and second proper Stateside release Cubic, the band has released a composition that playfully bridges funk, jazz, prog rock and hip-hop as angular guitar chords are paired with a regular yet ethereal horn line from trumpeter Tabu Zombie, a sinuous bass line and old school-like breakbeats which hold together a composition featuring three distinct yet incredibly funky sections together. Sonically, I’m reminded of the Josh Roseman Unit‘s Treats for the Nightwalker (in particular, their rendition of Burt Bacharach‘s “Long Day, Short Night,” which Dionne Warwick sung) and of a contemporary batch of Afrobeat and Afro-pop inspired acts that includes Superhuman Happiness (think of “Half-Step Grind” off their excellent Hands) and others.

Cubic is slated for a release through Topshelf Records on Friday and the Japanese quartet will be touring to support and build up buzz for the album with a handful of West Coast tour dates, which you can check out below. And interestingly, as the band was in the middle of seven date West Coast tour, they released an official music video comprised of the band performing the song in a studio in front of alternating colored lights — and in some way it gives a sense of what their live show would be like.

Just last week, I wrote about the New Jersey-based indie rock quartet MELT and “Out of Line” their 90s alt rock channeling, updated take on early aughts emo rock-based first single off the quartet’s soon-to-be released full-length debut Riffer slated for a  November 25, 2016 release through Danger Collective Records and Topshelf Records. The second and latest single “Rewind” off the quartet’s upcoming full-length debut will further cement a burgeoning reputation for crafting anthemic guitar rock — and while being decidedly mid tempo, the song finds the quartet pairing dense layers of power chords, and thundering drumming with a swooning, wistful and urgent Romanticism that’s reminiscent of Smashing Pumpkins and Silversun Pickups.

 

New Video: The Furious Visuals and Sounds of Dangers’ “Kiss with Spit”

Interestingly, Dangers’ blistering and snarling latest single “Kiss With Spit” has the band pairing layers of scuzzy and acidic guitar chords, thundering drumming, a persistent bass line and howled vocals in a way that sounds reminiscent of Melvins, Metz and Nirvana — in particular, think of “Dive,” “Radio Friendly Unit Shifter” and “Breed,” complete with a tense, mosh pit worthy fury. And recently after playing the song after the strangeness of a President-elect Donald Trump, the song conveyed the blind and confused fury that many of us feel.

The recently released music video follows a vicious, disjointed, sweaty mosh pit in a dark, tiny little shithole of a club — and in some way it also looks like a fucked up orgy with a band leading it on.

Comprised of Nobuyuki Takeda (guitar), Kozo Kusumoto (guitar / synthesizer), Jun Ozawa (bass) and Akinori Yamamoto (drums), the Tokyo, Japan-based instrumental rock band LITE have over their 14 years together and four full-length albums and six EPs  developed both a national and international profile for mischievously playful and complex compositions featuring edgy riffs, complex rhythms and a prog rock and math rock-leaning sensibility, a well-regarded live show and a relentless touring schedule across the US, Europe and Asia. And with “-D,” the first single off the Japanese quartet’s fifth full-length and second proper Stateside release Cubic, the band has released a composition that playfully bridges funk, jazz, prog rock and hip-hop as angular guitar chords are paired with a regular yet ethereal horn line, a sinuous bass line and old school-like breakbeats which hold together a composition featuring three distinct yet incredibly funky sections together.  Sonically, I’m reminded of the Josh Roseman Unit‘s Treats for the Nightwalker (in particular, their rendition of Burt Bacharach‘s “Long Day, Short Night,” which Dionne Warwick sung) and of a contemporary batch of Afrobeat and Afro-pop inspired acts that includes Superhuman Happiness (think of “Half-Step Grind” off their excellent Hands) and others.

Cubic is slated for a November 18, 2016 release through Topshelf Records and the Japanese quartet will be touring to support and build up buzz for the album with a handful of West Coast tour dates, which you can check out below.

TOUR DATES
All dates with Mouse on the Keys

Nov 10 – San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar
Nov 11 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Hi Hat
Nov 12 – San Francisco, CA @ Slim’s
Nov 13 – Sacramento, CA @ Harlow’s
Nov 14 – Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios
Nov 15 – Vancouver, BC @ Biltmore Cabaret
Nov 16 – Seattle, WA @ Sunset Tavern

DANGERS is a Los Angeles, CA-based hardcore punk trio, comprised of Alfred Brown IV (vocals), Justin Smith (guitar), Anthony Rivera (drums), Chris Conde (bass) and since their formation in 2005, the trio have developed a reputation for doing things in true DIY fashion — including playing basements, garages, living rooms, squats, banquet halls, high school auditoriums and countless other unusual set ups across the US, UK, Australia, Japan and Southeast Asia. Adding to that reputation, the trio released their first two, critically applauded full-length efforts through their own label, Vitriol Records; however, the band’s forthcoming third full-length effort, The Bend in the Break finds the band releasing the album through Topshelf Records, and with the album’s first single “Kiss With Spit,” finds the band expanding upon their sound while retaining the elements that first caught the blogosphere’s attention. Interestingly, “Kiss With Spit,” had the trio pairing layers of scuzzy and acidic guitar chords, thundering drumming, a persistent bass line and howled vocals in a way that sounds reminiscent of MelvinsMetz and Nirvana — in particular, think of “Dive,” “Radio Friendly Unit Shifter” and “Breed,” complete with a tense, mosh pit worthy fury.

The album’s second and latest single, album title track “The Bend In The Break” continues along the vein of its predecessor — tense, angular power chord-based dirged in which  thundering drumming, furiously howled vocals are paired with a shouted and anthemic hook in a song that structurally consists of loud and even louder sections. Interestingly, the song reminds me a bit of Sugar Army‘s 2009 release, The Parallels Amongst Ourselves but with an equally mosh pit worthy fury.

If you’re out on the West Coast throughout late October, check out the tour dates below. In the meantime, we’ll be awaiting some East Coast dates for the band.

 

TOUR DATES
* = w/ with Super Unison

OCT 20 – San Francisco, CA @ Thee Parkside
OCT 21 – Oakland, CA @ 1234 Go! Records *
OCT 22 – Los Angeles, CA @ TBD
OCT 23 – Los Angeles, CA @ All-Star Lanes *
NOV 10 – Portland, OR @ Blackwater
NOV 11 – Tacoma, WA @ Real Art
NOV 12 – Seattle, WA @ The Black Lodge (w/ The Exquisites)
NOV 13 – Bremerton, WA @ The Tiki House (matinee show)

 

 

Comprised of Alfred Brown IV (vocals), Justin Smith (guitar), Anthony Rivera (drums), Chris Conde (bass), DANGERS is a Los Angeles, CA-based hardcore punk band, who have developed a reputation for doing things completely in a DIY fashion since their formation in 2005. In fact, since their formation, the quartet have played basements, garages, living rooms, squats, banquet halls, high school auditoriums, Adriatic beach resorts, abandoned Soviet furniture factories and public park gazebos across the US, UK, Australia, Japan and Southeast Asian — and releasing their first two critically applauded full-length efforts through their own label, Vitriol Records; however, the band’s forthcoming third full-length effort, The Bend in the Break finds the band releasing the album through Topshelf Records. And the material on the album finds the band attempting to expand and grow their sound in a way that shows growth while not breaking it.

Interestingly, the album’s blistering and snarling new single “Kiss With Spit” has the band pairing layers of scuzzy and acidic guitar chords, thundering drumming, a persistent bass line and howled vocals in a way that sounds reminiscent of Melvins, Metz and Nirvana — in particular, think of “Dive,” “Radio Friendly Unit Shifter” and “Breed,” complete with a tense, mosh pit worthy fury.

If you’re out on the West Coast throughout late October, check out the tour dates below. In the meantime, we’ll be awaiting some East Coast dates for the band.

 

TOUR DATES
* = w/ with Super Unison

OCT 20 – San Francisco, CA @ Thee Parkside
OCT 21 – Oakland, CA @ 1234 Go! Records *
OCT 23 – Los Angeles, CA @ All-Star Lanes *

 

 

 

Over the past year or so, it turns out that I’ve written a bit about the indie rock quintet Happy Diving. And although they’ve gone through a number of lineup changes with members currently based in SeattleVancouver and Oakland, the quartet initially formed in the  Bay Area in 2013. Within a short period of time, the quintet developed  reputation regionally for high-energy live shows and for being remarkably prolific. Building on the buzz they’ve received since their formation, the members of the quintet received to write and record the material that would comprise their forthcoming full-length Electric Soul Unity which is slated for an August 19, 2016 through Tophself Records.

Earlier this month, I wrote about “Head Spell,” a slow-burning 90s alt-rock inspired ballad consisting of enormous, buzzing and sludgy power chord and anthemic hook that sounds as though it draws from the likes of PavementDinosaur, Jr. and others — while also firmly adding their names to a growing list of 90s alt rock inspired contemporary acts, including Brooklyn-based trio Dead Stars. The West Coast quintet’s latest single “Don’t Be Afraid of Love” will further cement their burgeoning national profile for crafting sludgy, anthemic, power chord-based pop that would be perfect to mosh to in a small, sweaty club somewhere — with an infectiously upbeat and encouraging message to boot.

The band will be on tour throughout the summer and it’ll include an August 8, 2016 stop at Shea Stadium. Check out the tour dates below.

 

TOUR DATES
JUL 23 – Oakland, CA @ The Rat’s Nest
JUL 24 – Santa Rosa, CA @ Arlene Francis Center (w/ Gun Outfit, Tony Molina)
JUL 25 – Los Angeles, CA @ Hi Hat
JUL 26 – San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar
JUL 27 – Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress
JUL 28 – Albuquerque, NM @ Small Engine Gallery
JUL 29 – Oklahoma City, OK @ TBD
JUL 30 – Ft Worth, TX @ Purple Palace
JUL 31 – Houston, TX @ Vinyl Edge Records

AUG 1 – New Orleans, LA @ Saturn Bar
AUG 2 – Nashville, TN @ Two Boots
AUG 4 – Richmond, VA @ TBD
AUG 5 – Raleigh, NC @ Pinhook
AUG 6 – Baltimore, MD @ TBD
AUG 7 – Philadelphia, PA @ Lava Space
AUG 8 – Brooklyn, NY @ Shea Stadium (w/ Ovlov, Patio, Peaer)
AUG 10 – Providence, RI @ Tommy’s Place
AUG 11 – Boston, MA @ Great Scott (w/ Kindling, California X)
AUG 12 – Amherst, MA @ TBD
AUG 13 – Montreal, QB @ Poisson Noir
AUG 14 – Toronto, ON @ Smiling Buddha
AUG 15 – Detroit, MI @ TBD
AUG 16 – Milwaukee, WI @ High Dive
AUG 17 – Bloomington, IN @ Jan’s Rooms
AUG 18 – Eau Claire, WI @ TBD
AUG 19 – Duluth, MN @ Northern Isolation Fest
AUG 20 – Minneapolis, MN @ Dead Media (early show)
AUG 21 – Sioux Falls, SD @ Total Drag
AUG 24 – Calgary, AB @ Tubby Dog
AUG 26 – Vancouver, BC @ Antisocial Skate Shop
AUG 27 – Olympia, WA @ TBD
AUG 27 – Seattle, WA @ Neumos (w/ Chastity Belt, So Pitted)
AUG 29 – Portland, OR @ TBD
AUG 30 – San Francisco, CA @ Bottom of the Hill (w/ Creative Adult, Never Young, Plush)

 

 

 

Although they’ve gone through a number of lineup changes and members relocating to various locations up an down the Pacific Coast — with members currently based in Seattle, Vancouver and OaklandHappy Diving is a indie rock quintet that initially formed in the Bay Area back in 2013 and within a short period of time, the quintet developed a reputation regionally for high-energy live shows and for being remarkably prolific. Building on the buzz that they’ve received, the quintet reconvened to write and record the material that would comprise their forthcoming full-length Electric Soul Unity which is slated for an August 19, 2016 through Tophself Records.

“Head Spell,” the latest single off Electric Soul Unity is a slow-burning 90s alt-rock inspired ballad consisting of enormous, buzzing and sludgy power chord and anthemic hook that sounds as though it draws from the likes of Pavement, Dinosaur, Jr. and others — while also firmly adding their names to a growing list of 90s alt rock inspired contemporary acts, including Brooklyn-based trio Dead Stars.

The band will be on tour throughout the summer and it’ll include an August 8, 2016 stop at Shea Stadium. Check out the tour dates below.

 

TOUR DATES
JUL 23 – Oakland, CA @ The Rat’s Nest
JUL 24 – Santa Rosa, CA @ Arlene Francis Center (w/ Gun Outfit, Tony Molina)
JUL 25 – Los Angeles, CA @ Hi Hat
JUL 26 – San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar
JUL 27 – Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress
JUL 28 – Albuquerque, NM @ Small Engine Gallery
JUL 29 – Oklahoma City, OK @ TBD
JUL 30 – Ft Worth, TX @ Purple Palace
JUL 31 – Houston, TX @ Vinyl Edge Records

AUG 1 – New Orleans, LA @ Saturn Bar
AUG 2 – Nashville, TN @ Two Boots
AUG 4 – Richmond, VA @ TBD
AUG 5 – Raleigh, NC @ Pinhook
AUG 6 – Baltimore, MD @ TBD
AUG 7 – Philadelphia, PA @ Lava Space
AUG 8 – Brooklyn, NY @ Shea Stadium (w/ Ovlov, Patio, Peaer)
AUG 10 – Providence, RI @ Tommy’s Place
AUG 11 – Boston, MA @ Great Scott (w/ Kindling, California X)
AUG 12 – Amherst, MA @ TBD
AUG 13 – Montreal, QB @ Poisson Noir
AUG 14 – Toronto, ON @ Smiling Buddha
AUG 15 – Detroit, MI @ TBD
AUG 16 – Milwaukee, WI @ High Dive
AUG 17 – Bloomington, IN @ Jan’s Rooms
AUG 18 – Eau Claire, WI @ TBD
AUG 19 – Duluth, MN @ Northern Isolation Fest
AUG 20 – Minneapolis, MN @ Dead Media (early show)
AUG 21 – Sioux Falls, SD @ Total Drag
AUG 24 – Calgary, AB @ Tubby Dog
AUG 26 – Vancouver, BC @ Antisocial Skate Shop
AUG 27 – Olympia, WA @ TBD
AUG 27 – Seattle, WA @ Neumos (w/ Chastity Belt, So Pitted)
AUG 29 – Portland, OR @ TBD
AUG 30 – San Francisco, CA @ Bottom of the Hill (w/ Creative Adult, Never Young, Plush)

 

Electric Soul Unity is Happy Diving‘s forthcoming album, out August 19 on Topshelf Records“Head Spell” is the west coast band’s version of a ballad — tender yet loud, the inescapable wall of riffs pummel any shred of sentimentality into a fist-pumping scorcher. The album’s brilliant first single, “Holy Ground” is an onslaught of in-your-face rock.

Formed in the suburbs of San Francisco’s East Bay in 2013, Happy Diving has gained notoriety for their blistering, high-energy performances and prolific release output. Though the band has seen various member and location changes (now with members living in Seattle, Vancouver and Oakland), the five-piece reconvenes this summer for their first ever North American tour, playing shows with Tony MolinaOvlov, California XChastity BeltSo Pitted, and Creative Adult along the way.