Author Archive

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.

NAH

"Submission"

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The most obvious comparison here is one that doesn’t need verbalized. Just let NAH do their thing and I swear we’ll all be happier for it. The noisy, punky, hip-hop crew from Philadelphia return no less than a month later after dropping their Nurture EP with two new tracks in tow and plenty of vitriol to spill.

“Submission,” the more adventurous of the two tracks finds the band in familiarly murky territory with loads of tightly controlled noise hissing in the background, drums that aim for the chest, and some of the angriest vocals this side of a certain failed performance art project. How many times can they scream “No submission!” before we all decide to log off Twitter and stick it to the man? I don’t know—listen and let’s find out.

Video

Xin Seha - "내일이 매일"

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Intent on showing a different shade of K-pop that leans a bit more towards the DIY, Xin Seha takes things in a much different but wholly welcome direction. His music lacks the flashy veneer that K-pop has come to be known for, but his recent album 24Town is all the more charming for it. Channeling something more akin to Michael Jackson (or even Janet for that matter), Xin’s basic but calculated dance moves and keen focus on fashion make his video for “내일이 매일” stand out by sheer aesthetic alone. Like something out of a Wong Kar-wai or Nicolas Winding Refn film, this is a humid late-night stroll through the city’s neon districts, steam billowing from the sewer grates, temptation around every corner. And there at the end of the alleyway stands Xin Seha intent on taking you by the hand.

24Town is out now via Greater Fools Records.

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Show Me The Body - "Space Faithful"

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Show Me The Body are the sort of exhilarating new music that your ears gleefully devour before your brain even has a chance to properly process. Inhabiting the territory where punk’s no wave past, scrappy NYC hip-hop, and the banjo intersect, this trio of crusty hardcore kids are trying their best to carve out a niche that few before them have even scratched at.

This hard-to-pin-down aesthetic gets a solid foot on the pavement courtesy of their video for “Space Faithful,” the opening track from their imperative new self-titled EP. Through grainy, black-and-white footage we follow the band around as they roam their stomping grounds, painting NYC in a dirty but affectionate light that shows just how firmly these kids have their finger on the pulse on the streets of the city they call home.

Show Me The Body is available now via BitTorrent.

Está Vivo

"I'm Bored, Hurt Me More"

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Ryan McMahon’s approach to songwriting has always had a chameleonic quality. He’s adopted different styles and genres throughout his time as Está Vivo, but his deep voice has always been there to anchor everything, punching through the miscellanea like a lovely foghorn.

On his upcoming album Befitting, Ryan continues to try on varying songwriting suits to his liking, and if the rest of the album plays anything like its first single, “I’m Bored, Hurt Me More,” then Está Vivo’s closet is about to get a lot bigger. Ryan continues to get a bit weird here and, as the track will eventually make quite clear, also a bit angry. Buzzing guitar strings and crunching distortion battle it out for dominance while Ryan’s lyrics take emo to the most extreme end of the spectrum and end up landing on dark humor in the process. Crying while masturbating, using tears as lubrication? Yikes. Somebody get this guy a beer.

Befitting is due out later this summer.