Author Archive

Pure Bathing Culture

"Pray for Rain"

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The title track from Pure Bathing Culture‘s upcoming sophomore album, Pray for Rain, doesn’t waste any time in informing the listener that there are going to be some changes around here. It’s a bold new step for a band that, up until now, left the making of grand statements to others, opting instead to soothe with layers of understated beauty. That’s not to say that this new track doesn’t still focus in on a pretty melody, because it totally does. It’s just that the track they’ve built around it is a conscious step in a new direction.

Keeping their finger on the pulse of retro imagination, the band still mines the past for inspiration. It’s just that this time around they’ve turned the radio dial a few notches in search of something new. Weaving dream pop, R&B, and maybe even a little disco together, the tapestry of this new sound is exciting not only because it introduces a new shade of Pure Bathing Culture, but also because we can hear the original colors we fell in love with shining through.

Pray for Rain will be available on October 23rd via Partisan Records.

Slug Christ & Keith Ape

"Honja"

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If you didn’t know any better you might safely assume that Slug Christ came out of nowhere, but he didn’t. For a while the songwriter was recording as H | p s (and Hips Like Cinderella before that) recording scuzzy, fuzzed-out pop jams. His style found itself spiraling down into a blown-out abyss until he disappeared for a while before resurfacing as Slug Christ, the trap-beat-loving rapper with a love for the profane and sacrilegious.

Keith Ape, on the other hand, did sort of come out of nowhere. The Korean rapper landed with a spark earlier this year following his OG Maco referencing hit “잊지마 (It G Ma)” that saw him and his “underwater squad” bringing the straight fire melding Korean and Japanese hip-hop under one bonkers roof.

Now it seems that these two maybe not-so-unlikely forces have joined up for “Honja.” If you’re familiar with the work of either of these two, then you’ll probably have an idea of where the track will go, but that doesn’t mean the ride isn’t worth taking. This one’s a sizzler.

“Honja” will appear on the upcoming Slug Christ x purpdogg mixtape God Is Under the Porch Where the Dog Died, so keep your lids peeled.

F ingers

"Tantrum Time"

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To hear Blackest Ever Black explain it, “Tantrum Time” from F ingers‘ upcoming album Hide Before Dinner, is best characterized as “deeply drugged, synth-daubed death-folk and DIY electronics.”

To me it seems more like what falling into a black hole would be like and what it would do to your senses. At times the track seems like it’s playing backwards. Other times you’d swear it’s playing backwards and forwards simultaneously. The track folds in on itself until its layers become layers upon layers. As you drift into the abyss you forget what music sounds like, you forget what human voices are. And it’s there that you float endlessly, grasping onto the threads of your disappearing sanity until your eyeballs explode out of your head and you die.

Hide Before Dinner is out next month via Blackest Ever Black.

Black Wing

"If I Let Him In"

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Dan Barrett has been getting gloomy for over a decade now as one-half of the Connecticut duo Have A Nice Life. Together the pair were always rather dark, but not necessarily afraid of getting melodic. It’s just that their idea of melody was taken out, stretched, and left to dry in the hot sun. So when Barrett unabashedly accepts melody as part of his electronic solo project Black Wing, it comes as little surprise.

Preparing to release his long-gestating debut …Is Doomed for The Flenser, Black Wing has shared his first tasting of the album (outside of a few demos) in the form of “If I Let Him In.” It’s an enjoyably languid track that boasts a cinematic feel—that is, if your idea of cinematic is the sort of trashy ’80s synth-based scores of yore. And as with anything that Barrett puts his hands to, even the most imaginative descriptions fall short after a true listen, so go ahead and dive in.

Pre-order …Is Doomed via Flenser Records.

Ivy

"Cave Business"

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Last year, NYC lo-fi hardcore outfit Ivy released their self-titled debut through Katorga Works, the Brooklyn-based label that’s had a hand in birthing the careers of bands like Merchandise, Sheer Mag, Hoax, Institute, and more. The short and ferocious release, which sees the band chopping their way through nine tracks of weirdo hardcore punk, was eagerly devoured by those who follow the NY punk scene closely. So in certain circles, a followup from the somewhat mysterious band was something that was hotly anticipated.

Thankfully that wait is now over with the band’s release of A Cat’s Cause, No Dogs Problem, their 7″ followup. Opening up the short EP is “Cave Business,” a single of sorts that keeps the band firing on all cylinders and delivers more of the blown-out, off-kilter punk that’s been the band’s calling card for a couple years now. And while this time around they sound a bit cleaner, a bit sharper, they’re still catchy as hell.

A Cat’s Cause, No Dogs Problem is out today via Katorga Works.

The Bombshells

"Who's To Say"

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Matt Linden runs a pretty modest operation over at Forged Artifacts. Showing that size doesn’t really matter, he’s proven that even the most micro of boutique labels can curate some kickass content. Case in point: The Bombshells. The garage punk trio from Minneapolis kick all sorts of ass and take names while they’re at it. On “Who’s To Say,” the lead single from their upcoming album Bake Sale Hotties, the band stomps the fuzz pedal to the floor, down through the stage, and into the basement.

Wearing their riot grrl influences proudly on their sleeve, The Bombshells aren’t so concerned with reinventing a familiar sound as much as they are setting it ablaze and roasting marshmallows over it. “Call her a bitch and she’ll say thank you!” they scream on the track, leaving haters choking in a glitter-filled dust cloud.

Bake Sale Hotties is out today via Forged Artifacts.

Mother Moon

"Pieces of You"

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It was only a few months ago that Naked was getting gloomy with his latest full-length Hopeless. Now he’s back with fellow Baltimore mopers Mother Moon for a split EP that is “23 minutes of pure agony.” And in addition to sharing a city, Mother Moon and Naked also have a similar knack for taking ambient-leaning shoegaze and smearing it over with the metal genre’s dark pigments.

The second of the band’s two track contributions, “Pieces of You,” crunches and writhes and echoes before rolling itself over and showing you its true face. And what at first seems knotted and gnarled soon reveals itself to be rather beautiful and melodic. Its soaring vocals and reverb compliment each other nicely even as the track reverts back and forth between layers of pained distortion. The split is a shadowy release no doubt, but to call it pure agony seems a bit off the mark, especially when considering it ends on such a gorgeous note.

Pouty

"Bloom"

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Rachel Gagliardi is striking out on her own. Sorta. With some help from friends like Evan Bernard (The Weaks) and Rachel Levy (R.L. Kelly), Rachel has thrown some demos together under the name Pouty. The name isn’t surprising considering she also plays in bands like Slutever and Upset as well as owning a presently dormant label called Bratty Records. And if you’re familiar with the oeuvre of her past, then the three tracks she’s recorded as Pouty should more or less feel like familiar territory. That’s not to say she’s retreading ground she’s already stomped around on though.

“Bloom,” the first of the three demos, is probably the most outright melodic track that Rachel’s stamped her name on. She’s right at home here with the harmonies and the punk distortion and the youthful angst. It’s a sticky little track that’s just as sour as it is sweet, and its hook will stick to the inside of your ear like a gob of earwax that you can’t quite reach with a q-tip. So you might as well just leave it there—at least until she fleshes these demos out and lets us actually purchase them for our own.

Mamaleek

"Nothing But Loss"

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The mysterious black metal brother duo known as Mamaleek continue to deconstruct the metal genre on their latest and wildest album Via Dolorosa. Information on the siblings is still sparse, but the music talks loudly enough that the details become hazier and more superfluous with every pained scream.

On the single, “Nothing But Loss,” the pair don’t shred through the material as much as they put it out of its misery and then poke its limp form with sticks out of morbid curiosity. This isn’t exactly metal that they’re producing here, but it’s just as violent and feral as anything the genre has to offer. And if you think that this track is some sort of one-off oddity, just wait until you dig yourself further into the albums many shadowy crevices. There’s no telling what you’ll find down there.

Via Dolorosa is out now via Flenser Records.