Every once in a while you’ll just be minding your own business, trying to get through the day, and randomly hear someone utter the phrase “Fat Tuesday.” North American readers are most likely subliminally familiar with the term as it happens to be the name of a prolific family dining establishment. Scholars maintain that Fat Tuesday began as a religious tradition like Ash Wednesday and Freaky Friday. But if y’all don’t stop putting out bangers literally every other day, it is indeed going to become a religious experience for us. Or maybe, it already has.
Once again, our Tuesday Music Dump is bursting from the seams with an unholy amount of new releases. Even as we write this, we’re seeing more that we wish we could add to this list. But for the first time in a while, we’re getting writers cramps. Not just because of this massive Tuesday Music Dump, either: in addition to this fatty drop, we’re also putting out exclusives from Cliffwalker and All Structures Align, not to mention some words on Holy Western Parallels, the solo project from one of the two Monobody bass players. Oh, and Michael Nace just messaged us that Drill for Absentee has officially put out new music, so we are currently obsessing over that as well.
Listen, no one can blame you for holding things down on your own out there and NOT listening to hundreds, if not thousands of new releases. It’s kind of a luxury these days. But these dumps are as much for you as they are for us – even as prolific writers and listeners, in the end, we’re just scratching the surface of what’s available, so keep on keeping on. In fact, leave this article open in a browser tab and keep plugging away at whatever it was you were doing, and stream as needed. Just remember: you’ve got this, and when it feels like you don’t, turn it up. Way up.
Russian Circles – Gnosis
Chicago’s post-metallic titans Russian Circles have exuded wave after wave of influence since their 2006 debut, and currently cresting this thunderous stride is the band’s latest album Gnosis. In the world of post-rock, occasionally instrumental bands are difficult to distinguish without some kind of signature, core sound. Russian Circles have always been conscious enough to play to their towering, intricate strengths, but their latest record for Sargent House damn near beats the pulp out of their past three albums combined.
Disheveled Cuss – “Creep a Little Closer”
Nick Reinhart’s latest single as Disheveled Cuss comes as a bittersweet, pleasant surprise. With stripped-down acoustic guitars and brutally relatable lyrics, on the surface, everything is chill. But as relaxed as it feels, it’s almost difficult to listen to. Reinhart’s straight-from-the-gut accounts of depression and despondence is as jarring as it is comforting to listeners with similar struggles. While it’s not quite Jar of Flies territory, when we’re used to seeing larger than life statements and delusional grandeur everywhere we look, “Creep a Little Closer” serves as quiet and cathartic reminder that every once in a while, less is more.
Youth League – Somehow Those Were Days
North Carolina’s beloved Youth League have returned with a thoughtful, boldly beautiful statement. After making waves with a couple of crafty, emotional EP’s in 2015 and 2017, the band went somewhat dormant. But then again, what didn’t? We kind of remember like… a pandemic, or something happening. The last couple of years have been a whirlwind in every way imaginable, and in the end, we’re just thankful to be hearing new Youth League as we continue to stumble through the sandstorm of reality. Somehow Those Were Days is far from just a clever album name, and you should definitely check it out.
Teen Prime – No. 4
Looking for some hot and saucy math out of Berlin? Of course you are. Hilariously, in perfectly in step with math rock fashion, Teen Prime actually chose their fourth collection of songs to drop an eponymous track, which actually ended up being one of our favorites. But they did make it hard to choose… Somewhere between NYOS, Don Caballero, Lightning Bolt, and maybe even Yowie, Teen Prime brings the ruckus with baffling, mesmerizing style. No. 4 is one of those set and forget records, where you can put it on from track one and just let it rip till the end with zero filler detected.
Maru Martinez – “Calma (feat. Jessica Burdeaux)”
We were doom scrolling from our Instagram account the other day when we caught a glimpse of Maru Martinez shredding this song on a 7-string guitar. In addition to stimulating important thoughts such as, ‘where the heck is all the extended range in math rock,’ it also had us bobbing our head in no time. Fun Fact: Maru Martinez is married to the progressive metal drum legend Anup Sastry, but here, the skins are expertly covered by Jessica Burdeaux. Here’s hoping we see them working together more in the future!
Berried Alive – Our Own Light
Prog-heads, prepare to djent your djeans. Portland’s shred-tactic Berried Alive could easily be dismissed as a visual gimmick, almost like standards‘ flashy evil twin, but any superficial expectations are quickly dissolved with Our Own Light. Through and through, it’s a thoughtful, expertly executed album: the guitars are verifiably insane, the vocals and lyrics are convincing, and it’s quirky, melodic programming brings to mind bands like Intervals, Destiny Potato, and The Contortionist while bringing their own flavor to the mix. Berry impressive.
Real Terms – “Frantically Wrong”
Freshly signed to Delta Sleep‘s Sofa Boy Records, Real Terms put out a muscular new single last week, bursting with swirling vocal lines and chime-y indie thrills. There’s a slight elevation in urgency here when compared to 2020’s textural, experimental Housework EP, and it serves them quite well. It’s also perhaps the most math rock thing they’ve put out thus far. Striding confidently between indie, alternative, and progressive pop, there’s a lot to enjoy here, and we’re looking forward to whatever happens next.
Mandroid Echostar – “Rosalia”
We’re slightly embarrassed to say we’d all but forgotten Mandroid and their progressive triple-guitar assault. While in no way math rock, fans of conceptualist post-hardcore bands like Good Tiger, Native Construct, and Coheed and Cambria will appreciate the band’s lean and mean approach on “Rosalia.” In a genre that relies a lot on wincing, borderline-operatic vocals, Michael Ciccae stands as tall as he ever did with massive range and genuinely palatable tonality.
The Mantra Discord – “Impressions”
When we first heard the band name, we thought the Mantra Discord was going to sound… well, metal. It sounds like a metal band name. And while it seems pretty evident that the Southern California duo is informed by the genre, their approach is far more math rock than we suspected. Like a darker, nearly cinematic Polyphia, the band slips in a lot of wacky drum and guitar parts, but defy easy categorization: whatever they pull out next, we’re sure it’s going to be interesting.
Sunwell – The Second State
At first glance, it’s easy to see that Salem, Oregon’s Sunwell can churn out strutting, damn near arena-ready post-hardcore with the best of ’em. Confident vocals, tasty grooves, borderline funk guitars, slick production… it’s all here. But most importantly, the band offers enough personality to stand out against a sea of Dance Gavin, Dance-related acts and tributes. They almost land somewhere closer to Chicago luminaries Snooze, which might seem like a leap but check it out below to see what we mean. Hey, it’s not that we don’t appreciate a little DGD every now and again, it’s just that there are already so many Kurt Travis jams to choose from, so in the end, Sunwell’s salty sense of substance really helps them stand out against the herd. Beyond this, however, we were also intensely relieved to hear the band recently picked up William Hardwick, guitarist of the bonkers-good-but-tragically-defunct FKA Mandark, potentially making Sunwell one of the most promising acts in the PNW. We’ll be sure to keep you posted.
Volitionary – In Passing
Grand Rapids’ up and comers Volitionary dropped a sweet EP just over a month ago, and of course, we slept on it. Listen, it’s hard to keep up, okay? Regardless, the trio scores big points out the gate for throwing old-school, tapped, odd-meter guitar licks around like no one’s business. There’s also some pretty keys in the background, subtly adding a jazz to even classical feeling to it all. As we established recently in an article with Of Two Minds, this intersection is now referred to as Jath Rock, and we’re truly stoked to hear some more of it.
Sunflo’er – All These Darlings and Now Me
We caught up with Sunflo’er a few weeks back after hearing a couple of singles that teased a new direction for the band, not to mention a new singer. There’s much to dig into here for post-southern hardcore fanatics of old, but gives the aesthetic a youthful twist with surreal, poetic lyrics and fuzzy walls of guitar. It’s certainly more hardcore than metalcore, which might not be what some of their fans expected, but from what we can tell, it is absolutely the road for them to take. We cannot wait to see this stuff live.
Quicksand – “Giving the Past Away”
We did not expect to be hearing new Quicksand so soon after their incredible album last year, but then again, ex-Deftones bassist Sergio Vega might feel like he has something to prove. “Giving the Past Away” is classic Quicksand, and actually somewhat dispels the notion of a band trying to one-up themselves, space cruising through familiar, hazy territory – but we’re not complaining. Whether “Giving the Past Away” is a standalone single or a teaser for a new album, we’re relieved to hear the band methodically expand at its own pace.
thoughtcrimes – Altered Pasts
What a pleasure it is to be hearing Billy Rymer absolutely destroying the drumset across an entire album’s worth of material. But The Dillinger Escape Plan alumni is far from the only attraction here: vocalist Rick Pepa comes into his own on Altered Pasts, as does the band itself. Thoughtcrimes is as noisy and thrashy as you might expect, but offer a host of new layers here with songs like “Mirror Glue” and “Keyhole Romance,” which add electronic breaks, atmospheric synths, and unique harmonies to establish that thoughtcrimes is more than just a flash in the proverbial pan.
KEN Mode – “Throw Your Phone in the River”
Ken Mode has been known to go for the throat with a twisted smile on their face, and their new single makes sure we don’t forget it. “Throw Your Phone in the River,” shows a band that’s acerbic as ever, if not more – hardly the expected result when a band adds a string player, but if anything, Kathryn Kerr accentuates Ken Mode’s tongue-in-cheek-but-brutal-and-bleeding sense of humor. If 2018’s Loved proved that the band could establish a uniquely haunting atmosphere on top of their nihilistic sound, Null seems ready to combine these palettes and more in spine-tingling, skull-fracturing new ways.
Holy Fawn – Dimensional Bleed
Occasionally, people say some truly crazy shit about Holy Fawn, and it may or may not have set expectations for Dimensional Bleed unfairly high. However, Ryan Osterman and co waste no time here in proving that regardless of what fans project, Holy Fawn is beyond capable of blowing said expectations out of the water. Creeping lo-fi, sparkling post-punk, and structure-collapsing shoegaze abound, creating a fantastical world that few bands know how to create. We had a feeling something massive was coming when we caught them at Treefort earlier this year, but Dimensional Bleed transcends just about everything around it, making for their most enrapturing record yet.
Street Sects – “X Amount”
It’s been a few years since we heard the creepy crawly, cyber-grime hardcore of Street Sects. “X Amount” is one of the band’s most energetic tracks to date – there’s certainly a lot of noise here, and once the bridge pops off, it’s hard not to imagine yourself clubbing in a Merovingian vampire warehouse. And if that’s your thing, you’ll probably want to dust off the ol’ gimp suit by the time you make it to the Powerman 5000-styled chorus. Oh, so it’s just us then? Whatever, normies.
L.S. Dunes – “Past Lives”
We probably don’t have to do much work to get you to listen to this one, particularly if you’re a reader with an emo streak. Let’s see, have you ever heard of a band called Circa Survive? Okay, what about My Chemical Romance? Oh, you have? What about Thursday? Coheed and Cambria? Well listen up and rawr folks, because literally members of every one of those bands is in this one. You can hear small elements of each one in the latest single “Past Lives,” but we’re really looking forward to see what else they bring to the table with a new album. Fingers crossed it’s as juicy as this!
Hits – Vanderbilt/Great Conjunction
Another sleeper that’s finally reached our ears, Hit’s bizarre, brazen, and immediately likable single defies definition. It’s got all kinds of psychedelic filigree, but it’s also noisy, poppy, and even a bit challenging. In a recent email exchange, the band used the tagline “Sparks meets Butthole Surfers.” Which to be fair is quite a ballsy claim, but after checking it out, we can’t say they’re wrong. If you’re looking for something that doesn’t take itself seriously but still warrants extremely close inspection, definitely take the Hit.
The Callous Daoboys – Celebrity Therapist
Seriously, what the hell is in the water in Atlanta? After putting out Die on Mars, The Callous Daoboys scaled the ranks in record time, leaving many wondering things like, ‘wait, who the hell are these people? who swarms?’ Despite the nearly too-good-to-be-true beginnings, the band establishes here that they’re far from a fluke with Celebrity Therapist. Much of the same ironic wit and hilarious song titles are still present, but underneath, rays of reflectiveness and introspection actually make the record even more rewarding than their debut.
Knifeplay – “Promise”
More fire from Philly – the latest signees to Top Shelf Records swing for the fences on their new single with it’s strong shoegaze undertones and TJ Strummer’s soft-but-strong vocals. For three minutes and thirty seconds, “Promise” keeps everything cozy. But just when you think it’s over, the band brings out another animal completely. Will the band’s impending debut keep us on our toes like this throughout the runtime? There’s only one way to find out.
Surprise Chef – Education and Recreation
Well this one certainly one caught us by surprise. With constantly shifting minimal jazz-scapes, floating flute sections, and loads of 4/4 but not polyrhythms, Surprise Chef cooks up a deliciously digestible world of sound. The group may originate from Melbourne, but soul underneath feels globally inspired. If you’re looking for something to relax to, but also keep you stimulated, Education and Recreation comes highly recommended.
Botch – “One Twenty Two”
Without regard for any kind of expectations, the adamantly still-broke-up mathcore legends released a ripping one-off track to celebrate the upcoming reissue of We Are the Romans. Technically, there’s no debate that this is a legitimately new song. Dave Knudson himself explained that “One Twenty Two” allegedly resulted from a riff that didn’t make it onto his recent solo album, but… that means the band wrote to it. To us, that kind of means the band is active? But you know what, fuck it – it’s worth it just to hear Verellen scream again. We wouldn’t be surprised if the band was playing coy with the public and waiting for the right time to announce a reunion, but we’ll believe it when we see it. If we see it. Who knows?
Like we said, a religious experience. Maybe we’ll change the title of these things to The Lord’s Day Music Dump or something. We’re crazy like that. Anyway, feel free to donate to the cause here, otherwise, check out those exclusives here and here. What a dump.