Okay, the headline is bad joke. We’d like to informally apologize for the lack of content for the last few weeks. At first, it was a head cold, then it was COVID, then the whole family had COVID, then my spouse’s tooth was infected, resulting in a number of emergency room visits… it’s just been a load of fun.
It bums us out that in 2023, we are still opening articles with these downright diseases references to a global pandemic, but what can you do? And besides, you know what doesn’t bum us out? You and your new tunes.
We’ve got radical new stuff from Covet, Fire-Toolz, Citrus Moon, and a whole lot more, so as we take a look at some of the year’s most promising efforts yet, let’s also take a moment to send each other good vibes and all that stuff. This is one of the least healthy times of the year for many of us, so let’s warm things up, starting with those ear canals.
That came out weird, didn’t it? Whatever, we’re exhausted as hell, it’s time to crack open some new jams.
Covet – “Firebird”
Covet just announced their new album catharsis last week, and celebrated with a brand new track as well. “Firebird” continues the evolution that Technicolor kicked off for the band, with Yvette Young further radicalizing her guitar tone and overall fretboard prowess. Seriously, get a load of that fuzzy outro – that’s the good stuff.
Citrus Moon – S/T
Chicago, we have got our eyes on you. Seriously, what is it about your high-speed winds, spirited crime families, and world-renowned pizzerias that so consistently give birth to greatness? Or did we just answer our own question? Whatever the secret sauce may be, Citrus Moon is exudes a lot of fresh flavor that at times sounds like a spiritual successor to old ASIWYFA with its winding melodies and ecstatic guitar interplay.
Buddah – Live at Sound
We don’t hear a lot from the desert, but it’s a conundrum we’re actively working on. As for reasons why, see none other than the indescribably cool sounds of Buddah – pronounced like butter, but better. The band’s psychedelic yet towering nods to shoegaze and post-rock are met with some interesting stabs of percussion and keys, not unlike a young Three Trapped Tigers, so we are super excited to see whatever this band brings to the table next.
North of Us – Bloomer
Do you want to time travel back to the early 2000’s, don the tightest pair of jeans available, frost your tips, and treat your loved ones questionably? Good, we wouldn’t want you to – you’ve grown so much since then. No, really. Besides, you can get the best of the ol’ scene without the pesky side effects if you just listen to the new North of Us EP. Somewhere between Tiny Moving Parts and The Used, the band’s emotionally upfront effectively transcends any obvious influence through its sheer catharsis. Emo lovers, get down to this one for sure.
OATS – “Magnolia”
Dang, these oats are shredded. OATS is also a throwback in a way, but more towards the unhinged outer fringe of screamo and experimental prog acts like Sikth, The Dillinger Escape Plan, and Between the Buried and Me. And that first riff in 13/4, what a beast of a riff – if you are looking to bang your head, get some OATS in your diet immediately.
Crowning – Eyelet Split
How did we know Chicago was going to come up again? Call it a hunch. The city has once again forced our Hand with an incredible offering to mathcore with Crowning. There is an overarching punch here that can’t be overstated, which is something that sometimes, no amount of technicality can emulate or make up for. That being said, in the split’s three minute run-time, the band slays their way through a number of sounds, and we are really excited to hear more from these guys, whenever it happens.
marcel – “playroom”
This Belgian banger is one hell of a lot of fun, pulsing with the vitriol of McLusky, but with a post-punk sheen likely to please fans of old-school greats like Ian Dury and the Blockheads, or perhaps more tangible craze of Viagra Boys. The single gets bonus points for its frenetic delivery of an already menacing 3-chord structure that’s met with destructive yet cavalier lyricism that keeps you drawn in the whole time. With ingredients this good, something great just might be around the corner, so we’ll keep you posted on charivari, their upcoming album.
Paddang – “Dead by Tuesday”
Another heavy hitting post-punk banger? In this economy? Abso-freakin-lutely. Good music stands out no matter what you call it, and Paddang’s driving but dark brand of introspective storytelling has a unique narrative to it that helps it stand out. With a somber breakdown that trudges beautifully along the borders of punk and country western, this French trio just might stop you in your tracks.
Glassbiter – Causes of A Splinter Hemorrhage
Lord, this chunky slab of stone-y, vaguely futuristic mathcore is one we imagine many of you are going to go pretty crazy over. The unrelenting assault brings to mind some of the genre’s best and most brutal with an uncanny resemblance at times to Inside the Beehive, but there is a lot more here than any one particular sound, and you have to hear the whole thing to believe it. This is probably the heaviest thing in today’s dump.
Shayan Javadi – Shawn Javadi
In case we haven’t got weird enough for you at this point, let’s make sure we nip that in the bud right now. Well, not that Shayan Javadi’s insanely virtuosic chops are inherently weird, but what we love about this debut is the way it blends low-end tones from the bass, piano, and low-tuned guitars to create something embedded in classical, djent, and math rock all at the same time. It’s hard to draw immediate comparisons, but rest assured if you’re a fan of progressive titans like Tigran Hamasyan and Animals as Leaders, you’re bound to enjoy this.
Oct47ps – D0n’t P4nic
Let’s keep it going with the weird stuff – one of the most disarming discoveries from the last few weeks has been Japan’s Oct47ps. No, we don’t have a clue how to say it, but we can tell you how it sounds. The break-core meets math rock formula is a winning one, if somewhat risky to an expectant audience. However, D0n’t p4nic is a record that captures the emotions at the heart of either genre with ease.
nhomme – 「 一種の過音 」
Tokyo’s polyrhythmic pros nhomme go for the throat on their latest EP, with three songs of absolutely relentless and cathartic jams. The record’s tense beauty is contrasted with piercing screams that, despite their acrid tone, pull the songs together. It’s a quick blast to the chest through the headphones, just the way we like it.
Twinklewounds – S/T
That’s a pretty great band name for math rock, let’s just get that out there immediately. Bali’s Twinklewounds may have released their debut on Valentine’s Day, but it just so happens that they fit the record’s sound around their name pretty neatly with its emotional, twinkly center.
Irrevocable – Generational Curses
This Manila based project will tick a number of boxes for fans of Paramore, but it doesn’t take long for Irrevocable to prove that they’ve got more math in them than the lauded emo stalwarts ever had. There’s even a subtle metalcore streak in the background, with doubled screams and blastbeats making tasty appearances throughout. It’s a jagged pill at times, but a sweet one, and we highly recommend it.
Quick Maths – “Roots”
New York up and comers Quick Maths have finally begun teasing their full length, and our first take is the pensive yet playful “Roots,” which contains flurries of guitar tapping and delayed, percussive parts. There is also a lot of jazzy feeling melodic misdirection here – is Quick Maths aiming for jath rock? Only time will tell, so we’ll keep you posted on the upcoming debut, due out March 14th.
Wananabani-en – Third Garden
Well, this one took us by surprise. There’s always one for every dump, when we are scanning through the last of the Bandcamp releases and out of nowhere something shocking reveals itself. While the bizarre harmonies might not be for everyone, this strong cup of psychedelic tea yields high-minded rewards if you can manage to sit through the oddities, which are dense, but worth the effort.
DazGak! – S/T
We haven’t been able to hear the whole thing yet, but we have a feeling if you haven’t pre-ordered the Cork trio’s upcoming self-titled, you’re gonna miss out on some real goodies. After one listen to opening single “Nitro Crate,” it’s pretty obvious that these are some recklessly confident lads, content to string us along with their casual, fun-filled sound. Oh, and that’s pretty incredible artwork, if you ask us.
Backgrounds – Royal Gradient
Okay, this band needs to change its name – this is far from background music. In fact, Backgrounds’ lead-spitting riffage is quite hard to ignore, with what sounds like a hefty amount of Contortionist influence, but with a slathering of chunky, extra spicy peanut sauce. Genuinely, it is hard to believe this is the product of one person in their bedroom in Minnesota – hats off to ya, Jason McComb!
Turin Horse – “Blissed Out”
Italy’s Turin Horse comes out absolutely swinging with the first single from their upcoming album Unsavory Impurities. It’s an album title that makes you ask a lot of questions, but if “Blissed Out” is any indication, we are at least certain that we’re in a thrill ride where doom and d-beat collide with warped, twisted punk.
Who threw that – Bug from Hell
For a band called Who threw that, and an album called Bug from Hell you’d be forgiven for thinking whatever you’re about it hear is pretty hate-worthy. But in all honesty, it’s pretty listenable stuff without trying too hard, what with all the tap-happy guitar licks, stuttering drum grooves and strikingly introspective lyrics.
Pomelo Chess Society – En Passant
Believe what you see – yes, you are looking at the world’s first checkmath rock band. What does that mean? Well, each member of the Croatian band is a chess aficionado, as well as accomplished musician. At first, you might think it’s an exclusive sound, but repeated attempts at entry to this new club are eventually met with favorable results, from the spacey delay of “Gerry” to the razor sharp “Zed.”
Adolina – Imago
This one is for all the old heads out there looking for something a little closer to the bass-heavy sounds of 90’s crunch captains like Helmet and Jawbox. France’s Adolina might be inescapably influenced by the sound of these bands, but there’s no hero worship or contrived concepts to be found on Imago, which shows off a focused, almost-minimalist approach that makes every little change feel important.
The Erie – Psychlops
British surf rock? Grab some wax and dive in, because as odd as it might sound, the band makes tasty waves throughout Psychlops, and you’re gonna want to shred ’em. The band makes a surprisingly solid case for surf across the pond, so if you dig bands like Man or Astro Man?, Satan’s Pilgrims or Egotones from our latest compilation, you’re sure to enjoy this.
No Edits – Live at Rober Lang Studio
This is another one for the 90’s heads. It’s always good to hear stuff from Robert Lang Studios. It’s just one of the most dynamic studios in Seattle, and already has a pretty storied history. But nostalgia aside, this sinewy, angular cut from No Edits, formerly known as Fixtures, will be worth a listen for many of you with its outstandingly crunchy bass and cavernous drum sounds.
Via Luna – Muted Earth
It does not get much more endearingly midwest than this, people. Kansas City’s beloved math rock quartet spread their wings on the new LP, tastefully articulating ideas with nifty little guitar taps without losing focus of the song structure beneath. Via Luna actually shows off a handle of simplicity rarely grasped in math rock on “With Greg Power Comes Greg Responsibility.” Not that it’s not delightfully busy when it needs to be, because it is, and we can’t wait to hear the whole thing, which comes out in just a couple of days.
There are more out there for you to discover, but right now, it’s time to recover and get ready for the next two days… why? No, not more hospital visits. Well, I hope not. No – we actually have two pretty grand article / reveals coming up, so stay tuned in all the normal places! Thank you all for reading, be excellent to each other, etc.