After a wonderfully fantastic debut, which made it into my top five records last year, Sleeping Bag have a new record that will be out this year. Bloomington recording studio Russian Recording, where the band recorded their follow-up called Women of Your Life, sent out an email with news on the album. They said, “We crammed all three of the dudes into the smallest room in the studio and recorded all the bed tracks live (drums, guitar and bass), giving the album a tight, intimate, cozy feel.” They also included a final mix of a track that will appear on the record. “Soccer Ball” is a lovable anthem with simple yet perfect melodies, tongue-in-cheek lyrics, and a fantastic Weezer-loving chorus. Women of Your Life will be out on Joyful Noise Recordings hopefully sometime in the fall.
Bloomington shoegaze brother duo Stagnant Pools have signed to Polyvinyl Records, who will release their debut album Temporary Room. “Dead Sailor” is the first single from the album, and like past demos, is a chugging slab of wall-of-noise guitar fuzz that also makes for a fantastic pop anthem with hooking melody. According to Polyvinyl, the bros received a tour van as a recent graduation presents, so expect tours this summer and fall. Temporary Room will be out August 7th and is up for preorder from Polyvinyl’s store on white vinyl (limited to 300), black vinyl, and CD. Watch a video of them playing “Dead Sailor” in my old DIY space in West Lafayette, IN.
Check out the newest track from Cloud Nothings’ upcoming album, Attack on Memory. Although Dylan Baldi has shown us that Cloud Nothings are going a different direction with “No Future/No Past”, “Stay Useless” still shows us why we fell in love with them in the first place. The song debuted on Rolling Stone this morning, where Dylan stated, “I’m trying to take Cloud Nothings to different areas, songwriting-wise, so I figured I should try and finish off the ‘poppy’ songs with a bang.” Attack on Memory is out January 24th on Carpark, and it’s available for preorder on Insound.
Nick Tolar and his Herzog boys crept up on all of us with a new album. The new album, Cartoon Violence, got its release to Cleveland last Wednesday at their record release show at the Happy Dog with Shoreway. Listen and download the fantastic power-pop opener, “Fuck This Year,” and try your hardest to not get those double guitar riffs stuck in your head. Tolar is already one of the best songwriters in Cleveland, and when you put a regular band behind him, things get really nice for us. Head over to fellow Cleveland blog I Rock Cleveland for their great review of Cartoon Violence and another MP3 from the record.
Cleveland pop heroes Cloud Nothings have their new album, Attack On Memory, coming out next January. Listen to the post-punk opening blast, “No Future/No Past,” from the new record. No hard to tell that Steve Albini had his hands on this one. And go see them on their two month US tour that starts next February, dates below.
01-26 New York, NY – Studio at Webster Hall
02-16 Chattanooga, TN – JJ’s Bohemia
02-17 Atlanta, GA – The Earl
02-18 Birmingham, AL – Bottletree
02-20 Orlando, FL – Backbooth
02-21 Tallahassee, FL – Club Downunder
02-23 Houston, TX – Fitzgerald’s
02-24 San Antonio, TX – Ten Eleven
02-25 Austin, TX – Red 7
02-26 El Paso, TX – Lowbrow Palace
02-27 Tucson, AZ – Club Congress
02-28 Phoenix, AZ – The Crescent Ballroom
02-29 San Diego, CA – Soda Bar
03-01 Costa Mesa, CA – Detroit Bar
03-02 Los Angeles, CA – Echo
03-03 San Francisco, CA – Bottom of the Hill
03-05 Portland, OR – Holocene
03-06 Seattle, WA – The Crocodile
03-07 Vancouver, British Columbia – The Media Club
03-8 Boise, ID – Neurolux
03-9 Salt Lake City, UT – Kilby Court
03-10 Denver, CO – Larimer Lounge
03-12 Kansas City, MO – The Riot Room
03-17 McAllen, TX – Simon Sez
03-20 Nashville, TN – The End
03-21 Louisville, KY – Zanzabar
03-22 Cincinnati, OH – MOTR Pub
03-24 Montreal, Quebec – Casa del Popolo
03-25 Boston, MA – Brighton Music Hall
03-26 Providence, RI – Fete Lounge
03-30 Philadelphia, PA – Johnny Brenda’s
03-31 Washington, DC – Red Palace
04-01 Baltimore, MD – Ottobar
04-02 Buffalo, NY – Ninth Ward @ Babeville
04-03 Pittsburgh, PA – Brillobox
04-04 Detroit, MI – Magic Stick Lounge
04-05 Cleveland Heights, OH – Grog Shop
04-06 Chicago, IL – Schubas Tavern
04-07 Columbus, OH – Outland Live
Here’s another phenomenal video from 19th State Productions (previously Sleeping Bag’s “Slime”), highlighting Bloomington psych band Tammar and their anthemic “The Last Line.” The massive song appears on their debut album Visits, released today on Suicide Squeeze. Get the ice pink vinyl and CD from the Suicide Squeeze Store, and check out this cool P4k review that went up today.
As the weather in these summer months has been filled with sun-filled scorching days, Michigan reverb-pop group Swimsuit reminds us that “sunlight burns.” Check out the opener and closer off their self-titled debut that just recently got its release from Virginia label Speakertree Records, who previously released Cloud Nothings’ Turning On on vinyl. The “reverb-doused, surf-tinged, beautiful pop songs fighting with a hazy punk undercurrent” LP is available now on vinyl through Speakertree’s site, and is also streaming for a limited time on Speakertree’s BandCamp. I heavily recommend this album for any Beach Fossils fans out there, or pretty much anyone who enjoys a quick, fun summer album.
Indianapolis dark-pop quartet We Are Hex released a remix album last month via BandCamp. Check out the Brainbheats glitchy remix of Hail The Goer opener “Birthplace of the Mystics,” or go over their BandCamp and download the 5-track album.
Keeping the Cleveland post-punk style alive with HotChaCha, Mystery of Two, and Founding Fathers, here is Filmstrip, a quartet of three brothers and one drummer who makes rounds in this town. ”In My Mind” is a driving pop anthem exploding with Cleveland punkiness, alongside the big album closer “Should Have Seen It Coming.” You can find these songs on their debut album Everything Can Change released this summer. You can pick up the 12″ LP at a number of Cleveland record stores, including Music Saves, Bent Crayon, and Blue Arrow, or you can buy the CD here, or you can email them at filmstripohio[at]gmail.com to order a 12″. And for you Clevelanders home for the holiday, Filmstrip is on the bill for the “Beachland Home For The Holidays” on December 23rd with headliners Bears!
In Cleveland, HotChaCha lives up to their reputation as the bad-ass all-girl quartet who will beat you up and steal your beer, but still be super nice about it. After their 2009 full-length debut, The Hardest Working Telescope and the Violent Birth of Stars, HotChaCha rode on the success of that album with a brand new EP, Fantastic Static. The album and EP exhibit a similar style of music, but the EP sounds bigger than any of their past music. Maybe it’s their transition into darker songs, maybe it’s from their shows with noise veterans A Place To Bury Strangers, or maybe it’s because they recorded this EP with dark-pop friends We Are Hex. It could be any of these, but I can easily say that the final product is their best to-date. Listen/download the first and third tracks from the EP, “Naked Glass” and “Bukarest,” above. The Gotta Groove-pressed recycled random-color 12″ vinyl with silk-screened artwork on recycled jackets can be picked up at one of their many shows, or directly from Exit Stencil.
P.S. They have an upcoming show on Halloween at Lafayette’s The Black Sparrow, stay tuned for a flyer!
In a state music scene where indie folk usually rules, a band like We Are Hex is bound to stand out. We Are Hex is a quartet from Indianapolis, making big, loud, and noisy post-punk. They released their second full-length, Hail The Goer, back in the summer, but the music has hit me nicely in the fall months. ”Birthplace of the Mystics” and “We Are The Goer” are the opening tracks on the album, filled from beginning to end with dark pop melodies, haunting girl vocals, and nasty post-punk climaxes. You can order the LP directly from Roaring Colonel, or you can head over to BandCamp and get the album for $6. We Are Hex is going to be playing my DIY space, Jurassic Park, tomorrow night with fellow Indy friends Learner Dancer and Lafayette locals Why I Like Robins, so you Indianans should definitely stop by!
Genre: Post-Punk, Indie Rock
Location: Oxford, England
Label: Transgressive (UK), Sub Pop (US) MySpace
01. Blue Blood
03. Total Life Forever
04. Black Gold
05. Spanish Sahara
06. This Orient
08. After Glow
10. 2 Trees
11. What Remains
Back in 2008, Foals’ Antidotes was easily one of my favorite album, the up-tempo dancey British indie rock really caught a spot with me. So when news had gotten to me that Foals newest album, Total Life Forever, was going to be different from their debut LP, I got a bit worried. Well thank the heavens that their relative change in sounds is not only progressive as a band, but it sounds incredible. Foals have dropped that super-danciness and picked up a mature dark post-punk sound, still echoing 2008′s Antidotes. The best example of this on Total Life Forever is the first released song, “Spanish Sahara”. The nearly 7-min epic builds slowly, under Yannis Philippakis’ haunting voice, anticipating an explosion of sound but droping off with you wanting more. This craving, fulfilled throughout the entire album, shows the true magic behind Total Life Forever and how far Foals has progressed as a band in just two years.. This will be out on June 15th on Transgressive (UK) and Sub Pop (US), I don’t think Sub Pop has a preorder available yet but check back with them soon!
02. Giving It All
03. Counting Electrical Storms
04. Within The Hour
Sub Verso, out of Berlin CT, play a various amount of different styles all fit into four songs. I was gracious enough to be able to listen to this 10″ on my turntable, which is a much different experience than my computer and headphones. The songs have elements of a big list of genres, including: electronic/post-rock/math/indie-rock/post-hardcore/garage/post-punk. “Towers” gleefully opens the Within The Hour, right into the beginning mathy riffs and overall post-punkiness of “Giving It All”. “Counting Electrical Storms” might be the highlight of the tracks, starting with a post-rock gloominess, quickly forming an indie rock atmosphere. The midway breakdown is soaring and beautiful, with fast-paced rhythms and far-away vocals. Title track, “Within The Hour”, is probably the progressive of all the tracks, which has the band running through bass/drum verses and heavy crescendos. Sub Verso seem like a somewhat young band, and for them to be recording music on this scale is pretty incredible. You can get your own 10″ of Within The Hour for only $6 by going over to their Band Camp or Big Cartel and getting a copy!
Last week I posted an Exit Stencil sampler from 2007, and I didn’t expect to be posting about them so soon. February started off with a bang when I got on the computer this morning and found out about “Free February”. Basically, Cleveland label Exit Stencil Recordings have released most of their extensive library for free download. And this isn’t a small label releasing awful music, this is Cleveland’s most respected label with some of the best artists around. There are so many good things I want to speak about ESR and their effect on Cleveland, but I feel I should let the music speak instead. I want to thanks my good friend James over at Shock Mountain for posting about this, it’s really nice to see other people and blogs respect Cleveland music as much as it should be, and they do it right.
Genre: Indie Rock, Garage, Post-Punk Year: 2010 Location: San Diego, CA Label: Kemado Myspace
01. C’mon 02. Down on Loving 03. Answer to Yourself 04. Move Along 05. Pull Out 06. More or Less 07. Tides of Time 08. Flammable 09. Mexico 10. Parasites
Lotsa buzz around the Soft Pack, formally known as the Muslims. I have a good feeling these guys are gonna get mad popular from their self-titled. The formula is nearly perfect; short, quick, fun, bob-your-head, catchy summer tunes. Get this one before it gets taken down.
Note: Something is wrong with the track “Move Along”. It’s supposed to be around 2:20, but every copy I’ve found has been 1 minute flat, it sounds like a repeat of “Answer to Yourself”. Bad leak I suppose.
Genre: Indie Rock, Post-Punk
Location: London, UK
Label: Merge Myspace
01. My Arms Don’t Bend that Way, Damn It!
02. I’m in Love With Destruction
04. My Eyes Are Bleeding (Interlude)
05. My Schedule
06. We Are the Men You’ll Grow to Love Soon
07. In Dreams
08. Atlantis (Interlude)
09. Song for Old People
10. I Won’t Lie to You
11. Diana’s Hair
12. I’m in Fighting Mode
14. It’s Not Going to Happen
15. Waltz (Interlude)
16. In the Court of the Wrestling Let’s
When I describe this as indie rock/post-punk, expect the most fun indie rock/post-punk you’ll ever hear. Let’s Wrestle is a crazy London trio who are the newest signers of Merge Records. They are a bunch of wacky guys who make head-bopping, bass-heavy, to-the-point fun music. I couldn’t help but smile during their video for “We Are The Men You’ll Grow To Love Soon“, and the “ba ba ba”s didn’t hurt. In The Court Of The Wrestling Let’s was released last year on small London indie label Schnapple Corpse, but will get a re-release by Merge in March.
01. You’ve Been Recorded – The Dreadful Yawns
02. Your Own Tree – Blake Miller
03. Relics – Mystery of Two
04. Bender Season – roué
05. You Don’t Have to Die – The New Lou Reeds
06. From the Life of King John – Home & Garden
07. The Last Unicorn – This Moment In Black History
08. Marco Polo the Voyage Home – Home & Garden
09. End of Summer – The Dreadful Yawns
10. Cut Your Hair – Blake Miller
11. Woody Allen – The New Lou Reeds
12. Desolate – Mystery of Two
13. About Last Night – This Moment In Black History
14. All About Time – roué
Over my winter break from school, I spent a few hours cleaning up my room, sorting and throwing away much stuff. I came upon a ton of samplers, many of which I threw out. In the midst of my arranging, I stumbled upon this Exit Stencil sampler. I was a little confused on where I had got it from, because I must’ve gotten it when I knew very little about ESR. I most likely picked it up when my old band played showed with Exit Stencilers’ The Dreadful Yawns in 2007. It was a nice surprise to throw this in my car and hear some of my current favorite bands rocking in their older material. I definitely enjoyed the Dreadful Yawns and Mystery of Two, but some of the best songs here are from the bands who haven’t released new material in a while. The biggest surprise for me was roué, who haven’t released anything since 2007. Their combination of punk and post-rock jumped out at me the most. I definitely encourage you to download this and listen to a few of the best Cleveland bands, current or not. If you like what you hear, check out some of the newer material!