Things have been a bit crazy in 2022, but one thing has kept us going through all of these heinous headlines and insufferable waves of heat – your absolute deluge of new records. Seriously, it feels like there’s been dozens of deeply enjoyable offerings in every genre for a number of consecutive months now, and although we couldn’t be happier, we’ve also never been busier. Like, how could we have predicted there would be new Mars Volta to cover? Other than the weird countdown thing with the box?
We tried to fit in just over a months worth of releases in today’s dumpasaurus rex, and know there are still a few we’ve left out, but we think we got away with it. We also did our best to throw in some zesty up and coming acts among the household names, some of which you might be hearing for the first time but hopefully not. Regardless, whatever you’re working on, going through, or escaping from, if you’re looking for new music, you’ll want to check these out. From wild and hairy to poignant and soft, this month’s Tuesday Music Dump has got you covered.
Science Penguin – Why Am I Like This?
“Octopus Punch” was a fantastic introduction to Science Penguin’s hearty mix of progressive shred and math rock inspired song structures. Why Am I Like This delivers on the promises the single made, taking the melodic side of things further this time around and entering into the realms of guitar-forward luminaries like Sithu Aye and Plini while retaining the chunky skate punk streak that made CHON‘s demo so widely influential. “Inspiration Cube” takes dense, skronk-y guitar chords and stretches them out for all they’re worth, but “Please Don’t Feed Hallucinogens to the Alligators” and “Budapest Food Truck Rally” show off the flashy, bombastic side of Joel Beavin’s phrasing. As an album, Why Am I Like This? bridges a spunky space between punk and prog that we haven’t crossed in a long time, and reminds us how much we’ve missed it. It’s time to chug an energy drink and get out the old deck… and maybe a bottle of Ibuprofen to be safe.
Satyr – Totem
Satyr have been receiving heaps of hype for their nostalgic mix of melodic post-hardcore and math-y, progressive chops. While it’s immediately apparent that the band has leveled up instrumentally on Totem, the new album goes hard in the songwriting department as well. Even when they’re teetering on the verge of extreme shred, the vocal interplay between Soup and JD is calculated and cathartic, bringing to mind the golden era of bands like Protest the Hero, Closure in Moscow, and Coheed and Cambria. That being said, Satyr retain one advantage over those bands at the moment: they’re a hell of a lot heavier, making the payoff on songs like “Bloom” and the title track ten times as sweet.
Giraffes? Giraffes! – Death Breath
Math rock’s beloved stalwarts Giraffes? Giraffes! return in a big way with their latest album, Death Breath. Before we even get into the larger takeaway from the record, yes, those are vocals you’re hearing. By far the most vocally forward the band has ever put forward, it comes as welcome surprise for one of the 21st century’s most celebrated duos. “Your Disgusting Head” and “Bug Money” go for a pulsing punk drawl, with Joe almost channeling Scott Weiland vocally through thinly veiled layers of modulated masking. The band sounds more raw than ever, and it’s a real blessing to hear the GG spirit shine a little more aggressively. The boys still get weird in delightful ways every now and again on songs like the subdued and stretchy “Wax Teeth,” or on “OK Song,” which sounds like it could have been a solo Topham piece, but thankfully ended up here. We highly recommend “Electric Meat,” in which pretty much every era of Giraffes’ history comes together for glorious results. Death Breath is a flare going up from a band to signal they’re far from dry creatively, and are forging another, less familiar path towards their destiny, and we’re definitely going to follow them. Wherever it takes us.
Mars Volta – “Blacklight Shine”
In all our visions for Fecking Bahamas, we never thought we’d be covering new Mars Volta. Even in recent years with Cedric and Omar flirting in the media again, even playing in other projects together, we never suspected a genuine, brand new Mars Volta track. But if we ever, say, did drunkenly wonder at night with our closest confidants what that might sound like, this is actually pretty close to what we’d have hypothetically imagined. It’s a tasty little progressive salsa jam not unlike the ones you’d find on Octahedron or Nocturniquet, mostly composed from deeply phased Caribbean passages. Cedric himself has put out recently that any reunion wouldn’t resemble a ‘classic lineup’ situation, and although we’re wondering what personnel were present on these sessions, the video above lists a number of players, though it’s likely specific to the performance in the video. The video itself is beautiful though, and leans heavily into the examination and appreciation of a culture that’s informed so much of Mars Volta’s approach to music. On a surreal note, in the not too distant past, Zeta reminded us of Mars Volta – but today, it’s the other way around, and it’s all good. We should always expect the unexpected when it comes to anything Volta related, and their first foray back in the public eye is obviously no exception. That being said, goddamnit, it’s great to see them stir things up again.
High Castle Teleorkestra – The Egg That Never Opened
High Castle Teleorkestra probably take the cake for this Tuesday’s strangest offering, but we have a feeling a lot of you are going to eat this one up. Released a couple weeks back, the guest list for this intensely cinematic offering is relatively massive, but Tim Smolen, the record’s main producer and composer, employs each one like a well oiled machinist. That’s what people say, right? Like acid-lounge born from an alternate dimension, The Egg That Never Opened will also no doubt strike a chord or two with fans of the long-lamented California era of Mr. Bungle, and even features some handiwork from Bär McKinnon himself, but the record is a hell of a lot more than that – not that you should take that comparison lightly. High Castle Teleorkestra’s brand of psychedelic avant jazz, as unhinged as it is, actually goes down really smooth. Maybe just start with a microdose and see how you feel later?
black midi – “Eat Men Eat”
Full disclosure, it is hard to adequately describe how ravenous we are for black midi’s new album, Hellfire. After a rapid upscale in resolution and narrative between Schlagenheim and Cavalcade, the band has promised the equivalent of ‘a high speed action movie’ in comparison to the vaguely vaudevillian flair they’ve reveled in more recently. After hearing the first two singles, we think we understand. On “Welcome to Hell,” Geordie Greep’s ether-inflected stream of consciousness as a hapless, confused soldier put a crater in our playlists. It’s catchy, sinister, and finds itself sonically somewhere between those first two beloved albums, but we don’t want to look back too long though, because it might affect or somehow color our expectations. “Eat Men Eat,” does the same thing, but using a different ratio, employing Matt Kelvin’s more stringent post-punk vocals to remind us of the bleak narrative behind the album. We’re intrigued as ever by these UK legends in the making, and can’t wait to immerse ourselves in the black midi’s obscure but fantastic tales of woe, war, and more.
Solve for Why – “Rooftops”
San Antonio, TX can add another gold star to it’s already stellar roster of artists. Solve for Why, the solo project of Kris Sifuentes, takes a chunk of math rock and maybe nugget or two of atmospheric post-rock and throws them into the grinder. The latest single a tasty spliff, and never loses momentum throughout its various textures. Usually, that’s a steep learning curve for bands with more of a foot in one genre than the other, especially when post-rock is involved, but ultimately “Rooftops” is a steady, stimulating blend.
NUMAN – “Pushing the Factory Reset”
Thailand’s NUMAN recently announced the pre-order for their new album Form and Foundation, and put out a couple songs to tide us over till it’s eventual release in September. The glistening, rolling vibrato of “Pushing the Factory Reset” spills out into Mono-esque post-rock in the middle, but closes with undeniable math rock vibes. “Shapeshifter,” the alternate single you can preview the album with, verges on a shoegaze nod, which the band tackles fairly effectively. It’s like Slow Crush meets LITE, and if you ask us, that’s a pretty dreamy combo, and we’re excited to hear the rest.
Ghosting – See You Around
California’s Ghosting are back at it with See You Around, swooping in with spread of skanky, horn-laden emo. It’s polarizing on paper, but the band knows how to strike a balance with it’s potential audience. After all, it’s just not an intersection listeners come across every day. There’s a healthy amount of punk and/or ska in the band’s sound, occasionally verging on the hyper-pop/punk of bands like In Angles and A.M. Overcast. But the band also seems pretty familiar with yesteryear’s golden oldies like Cap’n Jazz and Joan of Arc, and manages to toss some of that in there as well. It’s so all over the map, it all comes across as a borderline indecent proposal. But in the end, hats off to Ghosting for a job well done and releasing such an accessible yet challenging album.
Nekomi – “Shelter”
Nekomi, aka the solo project of Kyozo‘s Alicia Rei Kim released a nostalgic slice of electronic last week, dripping with reverb and pleasant little bleeps and blips for everyone to enjoy. No, it’s not inherently math-y, but it’s definitely something well within the spectrum of related genres, and “Shelter” is just downright pleasant. The strangely comforting walls of distortion and static that creep in towards the middle almost seem like subtle nod to noisier acts like Holy Fawn or Bossk, and if that’s a direction Nekomi continues to embrace, we’re super into it.
After-Nations – The Endless Mountain
After-Nations’ next gargantuan hunk of meaty metal compositions was announced a few weeks back, and the band has released multiple singles in preparation. “Mons” and “Fein” go straight for the jugular, chugging along to zany melodies not unlike Ocean Collective or Between the Buried and Me, but with a hair more groove. “Aon,” is chunky too, but throws in a lot of space-y jazz moments that strangely fit right into the prog rock and math categories without even trying. It’s been a hot minute since we heard some exciting post-metal, so we’re stoked to hear the rest of The Endless Mountain when it’s out in a couple weeks. We’re also stoked to report that Matt Bosak, who started playing with Childspeak last year, is now playing bass with the band. Will there ever be a joint tour? Well, who knows. It would be a pretty solid mix in our… you know… completely unbiased opinion.
Coordinated Suicides – “Sarcoma”
Madison, Wisconsin’s screeching noise punk Coordinated Suicides dropped a bomb with their last EP, 2016’s False Pleasure. Firmly planting themselves among the tortured ranks of midwestern sludgelords like Body Void and Chat Pile, “Sarcoma” starts with a flattening bang, and doesn’t relent until a literal fit of deranged laughter escapes the singer like a demon fleeing the ritual circle. This Could Be Heaven, the band’s new album, is due this September. And though we’re sure it will be harrowing, we’re really looking forward to it.
Chat Pile – “Why”
Hey, speaking of those midwestern heavyweight sludge gods, Chat Pile’s crushing new song is without question, required listening. It’s relentless. It stings. It’s like being waterboarded by your headphones, and not even in a loving kind of way. But it’s exactly what you need. God’s Country is set to be one of the most anticipated records of the year, and “Why” is terrifying proof. It’s not just the grinding, barbaric swing – it’s the literal question. The song is so direct, so brutally honest, you can’t help but ask it yourself. Why?
Greg Puciato – Mirrorcell
This one caught a lot of people off guard, and after hearing it, we understood why pretty quickly. Yes – we collectively bow to The Dillinger Escape, and understand the crucial part Greg played the legendary band’s history and their resulting influence in damn near every direction. We even throw his records with The Black Queen on occasionally, when we’re, um… studying. But from the opening squelches of “In this Hell You Find Yourself,” you can tell this is the most raw and rocking project Greg’s participated in since his Killer Be Killed. This turn is likely spurred by his opening stint with Alice In Chains, which has already led to a fruitful camaraderie both on stage and across Jerry Cantrell’s latest solo album. “Lowered,” featuring Reba Meyers of Code Orange, ponders the 80’s aesthetic Greg has been experimenting with for years, and finally takes it somewhere more interesting. There are still some low-key danceable moments here and there, and despite being stripped back, they show off Greg’s evolution, and that his trajectory is somehow, continuing to soar.
Brutus – “Dust”
Leuven, Belgium’s Brutus let loose a typically ripping new single last week on Sargent House Records, which goes by almost too fast even at five minutes. It’s just that cool. The band continues to push the limits of a dreamy yet enraged sound still inherently unique to Brutus, thanks to vocalist/drummer Stefanie Mannaerts’ incredible range and delivery. When she screams “I’m so tired…” we feel it every time. The guitars and bass match the vocal intensity at every step, giving the listener a feeling of speeding down an endless, dimly lit tunnels in search of respite till the song crescendoes. There hasn’t been much in the way of official announcements for whatever lies around the corner for Brutus, but if “Dust” happens to be indication of a new record, we’re calling it now – it is going to be a barn burner.
Like we said, what an insane time to be alive and inundated with the sounds of human emotion. We said that earlier, right? There’s more coming up just around the bend from bands like standards, Delta Sleep, and a host of others. Drip that sweet black caffeinated nectar straight into our veins here, otherwise, have a very lovely rest of the week, and we’ll talk to you soon.