Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Update: Kal Marks, Two Inch Astronaut, Washer, Big Ups, Dirty Dishes, Ovlov & LVL UP

*[stereogum.com] The last time we heard new music from Boston-based Kal Marks was back in 2013, when they released their full-length Life Is Murder, a record that teetered on the edge of existential dread and absolute, self-assured conviction. For anyone who loved Life Is Murder, Kal Marks’ new song off their forthcoming EP, Just A Lonely Fart, boasts a similar aesthetic. While “Zimmerman” does make reference to George Zimmerman, it is also a song that attempts to breach larger themes of injustice. “Zimmerman” was written shortly after the trial’s conclusion in the summer of 2013, and guitarist and lead singer Carl Shane commented:

“It seemed really unfair, and unjustified. Also I was following stories about the stop and frisk policies with NYPD. I couldn’t help but to be stuck in this pessimistic mindset that this country has really lost any moral compass. I’m still stuck with this train of thought, ’cause look at the headlines everyday.”

On “Zimmerman,” Shane’s voice is knotted and brambly, lending a kind of tongue-in-cheek contortion to the song’s bleak lyrical themes. The Boston music scene has been consistently labeled as “slacker-rock,” wrongly suggesting a kind of smarmy and resigned attitude that is imperceptible in the work of Kal Marks, especially on “Zimmerman.” Listen.

Just A Lonely Fart will be out 12/2 via Midnight Werewolf and Exploding in Sound.

*[stereogum.com] Two Inch Astronaut sounded fully formed on their 2013 debut album, Bad Brother, so it’s exciting to hear how much of a leap they’ve made on its follow-up, the upcoming Foulbrood. The title track charged in right behind Kendrick Lamar for our favorite song of the week. And the new single, “Part Of Your Scene,” sounds like a spiritual successor to the tightly wound work of the Dismemberment Plan and Brainiac. It delivers unpredictable noise-rock that hits you with piercing, angular guitar riffs one moment, only to hook you with an emotive melody the next. That applies to frontman Sam Rosenberg as well. Much like Travis Morrison, he can flip between screamed aggression and gentle vulnerability in the span of one song, something he does especially well here. They’re a band to be reckoned with. Listen.

Foulbrood is out 11/25 via Exploding In Sound.

*[consequenceofsound.net] Brooklyn garage rock duo Washer may sound apathetic in recordings, but their work ethic is anything but. Earlier this year, the band released their debut EP, Bighead, and already they’re gearing up to release even more music. On November 18th, they’ll return with a split single alongside fellow punk rockers Big Ups. Already we named Big Ups’ brazen contribution, “Rash”, as one of our top tracks of last week. Today, we’re getting our first taste of what Washer has to offer with their single, “Rot”.

The track opens with a fast-paced and sloppy barrage of guitar, seguing nicely into vocalist Mike Quigley crooning slacker poetry like, “Well I got a job, now I’m actin’ like a slob.” Drummer Kieran McShane matches the depravity with simplistic and jaunty drum fills. The track’s wobbly chords and off-key vocals make it easy to imagine Washer chumming it up with the likes of Green River and Mudhoney in a past life. It’s a time capsule to the early days of grunge, with a healthy side of youthful indifference. Listen in below.

*[stereogum.com] New York punks Big Ups started off the year by releasing their awesomely raw debut album Eighteen Hours Of Static. They’ll wind it down by dropping a new split EP with the Brooklyn band Washer. The first Big Ups song on the split is a fearsome, erratic pigfuck sludge-monster called “Rash,” and it might be the first Big Ups song that sounds more like the Jesus Lizard than it does like Suicidal Tendencies. Listen to it below.

The Big Ups / Washer split is out 11/18 on Exploding In Sound.

*[earmilk.com] Originally from Boston, the LA duo Dirty Dishes have continued to present an often grungy, sometimes synth-based sound through their multiple releases. Formed in 2009, Jenny Tuite and Alex Molini look forward to early next year when they plan on releasing their first full-length album GUILTY. Off of GUILTY we bring you the premiere of "One More Time".

Never afraid to add a new style to their wide collection of songs, Dirty Dishes' "One More Time" borders an eerie line throughout. Jenny's raw vocals, her accented syllables and the distant mumblings through the break coupled with a soothing duo of melodic bells and a softly plucked string instrument all work together flawlessly to set the mystical tone. In all "One More Time" is a breath of fresh air that builds on the unique sounds found on Dirty Dishes' previous songs to form a bold new step for the duo.

*[imposemagazine.com] Dirty Dishes have brought their Boston-bred wailing sense of fatalism and love of destructive basement rock to the suns of LA.”Thank You Come Again”, their first track since relocating to the sunny side of the country, shows that the UV and Vitamin D hasn’t gone to their heads, rocking the track with a plucky bass groove that opens up into a distorted sprawl. Guitarist and singer Jenny Tuite wails, “come again” over the driving wallop of a turned-off snare. The loud-quiet song quickly bounces between volumes, playing with the soul too fast for the mind to realize what’s going on. It’s catchy, it’s driving, it’s not too hard to digest but still fucks with your senses, building up and falling away at such a pace you hardly realize almost three-minutes have gone by.

Guilty drops early 2015, on vinyl/digital via Exploding in Sound. Stream “Thank You Come Again” below.

*[wonderingsound.com] On “Ohmu Shell,” Connecticut’s Ovlov slather straight-ahead pop melodies with buckets of gunk. The guitars are thick and distortion-drenched, lapping up against Steve Hartlett’s wry, conversational vocals. There’s some of the same gurgle-and-pound that defined Dinosaur Jr.’s classic You’re Living All Over Me, but Ovlov are less stingy with hooks. To hear the song’s chorus once is to be singing it for days. By the time the song glides into the minute-plus guitar freakout that occupies its back half, the noodling feels wholly earned.

The song is taken from a 4-way split 7″ with Krill, LVL UP, and Radiator Hospital, which will be out on October 14th via two great labels: Double Double Whammy and Exploding In Sound.

*[imposemagazine.com] Last month, Brooklyn’s LVL UP released one of the year’s greatest indie rock records, Hoodwink’d. It’s a very-90s album of crunchy guitar pop, but with more personality on each track than most similar-sounding bands typically let out on a whole LP. There are meditations on such ever-relatable themes as feeling isolated, getting stoned alone, doing stuff with your friends, plus at least one ode to sincerity and at least one Silver Jews reference. At face-value, it aggressively recalls the scrappy college rock of decades past, but LVL UP are refreshingly rooted in the present. There’s an overtly sentimental bent to the lyrics that places the band right alongside the other young songwriters on the Double Double Whammy roster like Frankie Cosmos and Quarterbacks (the indie-pop-oriented label that half of LVL UP runs), while Hoodwink’d cut “DBTS” refers to “David Blaine’s The Steakhouse” (the presently active house venue where the other half of the band lives).

Today they make yet another nod to Brooklyn DIY of recent years with “Big Snow”, a title referring to the much-loved show space that abruptly closed last summer. (You might remember our coverage of the space.) “Big Snow” launches with an almost identical opening to the title track of Hoodwink’d, a good example of the self-referential wordplay that LVL UP’s songwriters like to mess around with. “I know I’ll never feel good about that train ride inside, or at the bottom of my spicy hot gumbo,” Dave Benton starts, balancing out a hyper-introspective sentiment with a funny bit about food. (Something else he’s known to do.) The track appears on a four-band split EP with Ovlov, Krill, and Radiator Hospital, to be released October 14 via Exploding In Sound and Double Double Whammy.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Two Inch Astronaut Debut "Foulbrood" on NPR's "All Songs Considered" + Stereogum // Announce New LP

as seen on NPR's "All Songs Considered"...

Joined in the studio by editor Lars Gotrich, the hosts introduce the noisy title track from Maryland-based Two Inch Astronaut's upcoming album, Foulbrood ... Two Inch Astronaut's upcoming album, Foulbrood, marks a point of maturation in the band's lengthy career. The album's explosive title track mines the '90s for inspiration, and is notably reminiscent of the Dismemberment Plan's earlier music. For more on this song, visit the artist's website.

as seen on Stereogum...

Maryland’s Two Inch Astronaut play a sort of math-y emo/post-hardcore that draws from that particular subgenre’s seminal acts: Sunny Day Real Estate, Dismemberment Plan, Cap’n Jazz. But while Two Inch Astronaut may sound awfully familiar (I’m trying to put my finger on a specific vocal comparison here and it’s just eluding me), they also sound explosively fresh. Their 2013 debut, Bad Brother, stood out even on the excellent Exploding In Sound roster, but “Foulbrood” — the title track from their forthcoming sophomore LP — sounds bigger, more confident, and more technically adept in every way, from the writing to the vocal and instrumental performances. All the band’s abundant tools are employed in the service of a great song here, but man, those tools are abundant, and man, this song is great. Listen.

Foulbrood is out 11/25 via Exploding In Sound Records. Pre-order it HERE.

Bad History Month & Krill - Live on KVRX

Back in March during SXSW, Austin radio station KVRX invited Bad History Month and Krill to record live in-studio sessions. Check them out below.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Krill Premiere "Peanut Butter" Single + "Turd" Video

as seen on Stereogum...

Krill opened this year ambitiously, stuffing an absurd meta-concept album into the brief EP Steve Hears Pile In Malden And Bursts Into Tears. Now they team with Ovlov, LVL UP, and Radiator Hospital for one very exciting 7″ single. Rather than sticking to any verse/chorus structure, Krill’s song takes the form of one continuously twisting and turning string of melodies and hooks. Meanwhile lead singer Jonah Furman recites both sides of a conversation that begins with a misunderstanding and grows into something somber. It’s the sound of what was already one of the best new bands of last year growing even better. Listen.

The split is due 10/14 via Double Double Whammy/Exploding In Sound. Pre-order it HERE.

also on Stereogum...

Last year, the Boston band (and Band To Watch) Krill landed a spot on our list of the Best New Bands Of 2013 on the strength of their album Lucky Leaves. More recently the band explored the concept album in miniature with the EP Steve Hears Pile In Malden And Bursts Into Tears, which amplified Krill’s goofy humor and existential dread, best exemplified on the Songs Of The Week-featured single “Turd.” That humor and anxiety gets channeled well in Jake Appet’s music video, which he described as “a journey into the mind of a frustrated Krill fan.” It follows a guy talking to coworkers and going on a pretty bad date where the most awkward moments get caught in an unpleasant jerking loop. Watch it below.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Bad History Month Premiere "Staring at my Hands" via Stereogum

As seen on Stereogum...

"I think at this point we can all accept that we’ll never be able to keep track of exactly which month is being celebrated by Boston singer/songwriter Jeff Meff’s project. We wrote about him last year when he was Fat History Month and was releasing songs including “Sad History Month” and “Bald History Month,” and now the project has been renamed Bad History Month (also the name of his album last year). It doesn’t really matter what it’s called though when the man behind it remains arguably the best lyricist in the Boston DIY scene. BHM’s music has always been more stripped down than many of the other artists in that predominantly punk scene, putting the full weight on the words, which often comprise vivid observations on death, depression, and existential pain that feel uplifting simply because they’re so beautifully written. On his upcoming release, Famous Cigarettes, a split with Dust From 1000 Yrs, that sentiment has become truer than ever.

“Staring At My Hands” is the first song to come from the release and shows Bad History Month returning as a solo project with a significant shift in sound. That becomes clear when you hear the noisy opening electronic pulse that gives way to brittle drum machine beats among other shifting textures. Wrapping piano, drums, guitar, and electronics around his voice like a warm, fuzzy blanket, it’s the sort of manipulated “headphone folk” that earns a comparison to the Microphones’ The Glow Pt. 2. It lays out a foundation for Meff’s voice delivering line after heartrending line. Near the end of the song, the music builds, only to swoon out as Meff raises his voice and delivers the climatic line, “Staring at my hands and picturing them decomposing/ feeling my existence as a ripple in an endless ocean/ not even a drop, I will take no substance with me when I’m gone/ Because my body’s the same as the sea.” It’s a completely overwhelming moment, just one of the many pieces that make up the best song I’ve heard from him. Listen to it below and check out their tour dates.

Famous Cigarettes is out 6/10 via Exploding in Sound. Pre-order here.

A note on these tour dates: You may notice this massive country spanning tour for BHM and Dust this Summer has many odd looking dates. With some slight formatting changes, we’ve posted them as they were sent to us which came with a note and the BHM email address encouraging anyone interested in hosting a show, be it house or venue, to reach out to them at lovingdadmakes@gmail.com.

06/04 Worcester, MA @ Distant Castle
06/05 Peterborough, NH @ Thing In The Spring @ Toadstool Bookshop w/ Magik Markers, Suicide Magnets
06/06 Lowell, MA @ Wilder Zangcraft
06/07 Albany, NY @ The Low Beat
06/08 New England WANNA HELP??
06/09 Boston, MA @ Charlie’s Kitchen
06/10 Biddeford, ME @ The Oak And The Ax
06/11 New Haven, CT @ West Haven
06/12 Meriden, CT @ Topless Floridian Funtopolis
06/13 Brooklyn, NY @ Silent Barn w/ Pile, Porches., (New England) Patriots
06/14 Philadelphia, PA @ The Great Indoors
06/15 New Brunswick, NJ (TBA)
06/16 Kutztown, PA @ Ratail Records
06/17 Atlantic City, NJ (TBA)
06/18 Charlottesville, VA @ Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar
06/19 West Virginia WANNA HELP??
06/20 Athens, OH @ Guxxi Shane’s
06/21 Cincinnati, OH @ The Comet
06/22 Bloomington/Louisville WANNA HELP??
06/23 Bloomington/Naptown WANNA HELP??
06/25 Milwaukee, WI @ Quarters
06/26 Madison / IL (TBA)
06/27 Chicago, IL @ The Observatory
06/28 St Louis (TBA)
06/29 KC? WANNA HELP??
06/30 Omaha WANNA HELP??
07/01 Denver WANNA HELP??
07/02 ???????
07/03 Missoula (TBA)
07/04 Moscow, ID @ Ouija Hole
07/05 Seattle (TBA)
07/06 Bellingham (TBA)
07/08 Portland (TBA)
07/09 Eugene WANNA HELP??
07/10 Arcata (TBA)
07/11 Eureka (TBA)
07/12 Bay WANNA HELP??
07/13 San Francisco @ hemlock tavern
07/14 Isla Vista CA @ biko garage
07/15 LA (TBA)
07/16 San Diego (TBA)
07/17 Flagstaff (TBA)
07/18 Albuquerque (TBA)
07/19 Albuquerque (TBA)
07/20 Oklahoma City (TBA)
07/21 Tulsa (TBA)
07/22 Little Rock (TBA)
07/23 Nashville (TBA)
07/24 Murfreesboro TN (TBA)
07/25 Carbondale IL (TBA)
07/26 Champaign IL? WANNA HELP??
07/27 Bloomington, IN @ The Bishop
07/28 Columbus WANNA HELP??
07/29 Cleveland WANNA HELP??
07/30 Toronto (TBA)
07/31 Montreal WANNA HELP??
08/01 New England
08/02 New England
08/03 New England
08/04 New England
08/05 New England"

Geronimo! Premiere Cheap Trick via Stereogum

As seen on Stereogum...

"One of the recent additions to Exploding In Sound’s ever expanding roster is the Chicago punk band Geronimo! who really earn that exclamation point in their name with the new album Cheap Trick. That much was clear from the single we recently premiered, “Mr. President,” but just as that song played with unpredictable dynamics, the album as a whole jumps all over the place. Starting with subdued, somber rock mixed with electronically treated vocals on “Electronic Parrot,” the band moves through a set of songs that pay tribute to the experimental rock of ’90s greats like Brainiac without letting you forget the IL natives the album title honors. Stream the whole thing below.."

Cheap Trick is out 5/13 via Exploding In Sound. Order it here.

Krill on Breakthru Radio's Serious Business!

As seen on BreakThru Radio...

"Exploding In Sound is a Brooklyn-based music blog and label, specializing in the often-guitar-heavy, 90s-leaning rock sound that we love so much at Serious Business On BTR. They cut no corners whatsoever on their promise of "delivering good rock music since 2008." We've had a number of EIS-connected bands in for sessions in the past, so we thought we'd make our love real and invited them to do a little takeover for the next few weeks!

For the second installment of the series we welcomed Krill, the Massachusetts-based band who just about everybody and their mother has told us that we ABSOLUTELY NEED TO BOOK. You know what? They were right. This fierce, charming, hooky trio crank out the jams in the most delicious of ways. Check it out and get into the Krill action!

Featured song:"Unbounded Nameless Future"

Check out the complete broadcast and audio playlist HERE!

03:53 Chat
06:22 TURD
11:09 Chaat
22:45 Chaaat
36:40 Chaaaat
57:53 Serious Business Promo Bumper
58:23 Finish

Krill's latest release, Steve Hears Pile in Malden and Bursts Into Tears, is now available from Exploding In Sound.

Recorded TUE MAR 25, 2014 at Serious Business Music, NYC. All knobs by Travis Harrison with assistance from Hansdale Hsu, Joe Reichel, Will Brant."