Posted on March 8th, 2018

[as seen on Uproxx]

Last month, Boston experimental noise trio Kal Marks returned with their third full-length record Universal Care, marking a large step forward for the band, both lyrically and sonically. It’s at the same time sludgy and peppy, colorful and drab. Right at the center of record lies the seven-minute epic called “Loosed,” a perfect embodiment of Universal Care that touches all points of the band’s abilities.

Today, we’re premiering the video for “Loosed,” which sees the band channeling the stylistic overtones of psychological horror films, cutting between performance footage, grinding teeth, and other deranged imagery. The visual was directed by the band’s longtime collaborator Ethan Long, and is a perfect visual summation of a song that moves flawlessly from place to place. Check it out.

The trio is set to hit the road for a massive tour this spring.


Posted on March 7th, 2018

[as seen on New Noise Magazine]

New Noise Magazine is pleased to be bringing forth the premiere of Already There by Shell Of A Shell. The record utilizes a lot of experimental aspects to the core genre of post-hardcore, as evidenced by the trance like opener “Problem.” With a steady pulse in the rhythm, the vocals are howling overtop and letting the song’s conclusion find its own sonic space. The songs are rather personal to Chappy Hull (Gnarwhal, Pile) and Shell Of A Shell definitely finds its own niche in the songwriter’s expansive repertoire.

Each track has its own cathartic and grit to it, allowing Already There to feel like a dive into the mind of Hull. The title track is a raw, visceral punch to the gut while other tracks search the atmosphere to pull something ethereal and frantic back down to earth, like “Rotten Plan.” Take a listen to the six track release below and prepare to dive into a world of impressive songwriting, creative dynamics and a slightly chaotic feel. The record is due out March 9th via Exploding In Sound Records. It’s the final installment of the EIS Tape Club (Water From Your Eyes, Big Heet, Maneka, etc) and a killer finale at that.

Shell of a Shell started as the bedroom side project of Chappy Hull (Gnarwhal, Pile), a simple exercise in personal songwriting. Eager to play out when he wasn’t busy with his other bands, Hull asked Nick Swafford (Teddy and the Rough Riders), Noel Richards (Watcher), and Dylan Liverman to fill out the sound he had laid of his demos, and the quartet became “a real band”. Their debut album, Already There, revolves around the idea of what life would be like without yourself and the answers you can never really get. Shell Of A Shell are exploring the idea of communication breakdown and the mental hoops we all jump through as a result.

The four clicked instantly and have played shows with bands such as Bully, Palm, Pallas, A Deer A Horse, Floral Print, Permanent Makeup, and more. Throughout the past year and a half Shell of a Shell has honed in on their sound, becoming more and more prevalent in the Nashville music scene and beyond.


Posted on March 6th, 2018

[as seen on The Fader]

Here's some good news for fans of post-hardcore jams and cathartic live shows: Brooklyn punks Big Ups have a third full-length album in the works. It's called Two Parts Together and it comes out in May on Exploding in Sound.

Today we're debuting that record's first single. Called "PPP," and not to be confused with the wintry Beach House tearjerker of the same name, it's a superstitious thrasher with fist-fight drums and menacing riffs. "Look into the crystal, and see what you wanna see, you wanna see, you wanna see," goes its mantra-like hook, screamed by Joe Galarraga with a mix of confusion and suspicion.

"We wrote this song before we realized there was a Beach House song with the same name — whoops," Galarraga said over email. "'PPP' is about the power of mystery; it plays with the idea that psychics will see the future in a crystal ball. But what if the crystal breaks and refracts the vision, like a prism? Or magnifies it?

"A lot of the songs on Two Parts Together focus on unknowability," he adds, "and this song flips the script on a psychic reading.” Hit play below.


Posted on March 1st, 2018

[se seen on GoldFlakePaint]

A wild and impassioned burst of sentiments, which, musically, sits somewhere between Pile at their swooning best and a dramatic David Bazan, but also finds space for outlandish dramatical flourishes and gnarly guitar solos, the new track from NYC’s Yazan is a fascinating spectacle; a brilliantly bold introduction to his new record, both when diving in deep for hidden meaning or simply admiring the value of its gleaming face.

Contextually there’s also a lot to unpack here, but here we go. That aforementioned track, Cockroach, is the lead track from Yazan’s brand new album, Hahaha, which is released later this year via Exploding In Sounds ever-expansive roster. Yazan, the band, is fronted by Yazan Fahmawi, a native New Yorker born to Palestinian refugees, who has recently played in Pile, and has also previously played in Anna Mclellan’s band and Jackal Onasis, among various others. The new album is said to have been informed by Yazan’s most vulnerable and darkest feelings, and was “written during times of personal hardships and growth.”

There will be a lot to dig through in terms of the full album, but today we’re focusing on it’s lead track; a dense and disorderly burst of guitar-pop that we’re very pleased to unveil here today in all of its erratic splendour – and it’s streaming below for you right now.

“While I was running my Brooklyn basement art space, we often encountered big, bold roaches that would skitter across the floor, or sit on walls and amps in plain sight. When one was discovered it caused a commotion that would only be resolved after one of us would stomp the critter out,” Yazan says of the track, before admitting that a change of heart in such situations, and the imbalance between the sanctity of human life and a bug’s life, shifted the way he viewed both himself and the world. “The shift in my perception about life allowed me to glimpse into the darkness that I carry in me, and that we as humans have the opportunity to cultivate life in all forms, as well the power to wipe it out,” Yazan goes on to say. “The choice to let a harmless (albeit annoying) creature live is also a choice to favour the light in our hearts over the dark tendencies we sometimes manifest as humans.”

Untamed and packed full of heart, the new track is as singular a statement as such a preface alludes to – a billowing, bold, and boisterous five-minutes to signal Yazan’s reemergence. Leap in to its wide and waiting arms below right now.


Posted on February 20th, 2018

[as seen on Paste Magazine]

Shell of a Shell began as the bedroom project of Chappy Hull, known for his work in the post-hardcore bands Gnarwhal and Pile. After adding Nick Swafford (Teddy and the Rough Riders), Noel Richards (Watcher), and Dylan Liverman to the lineup, the result was Already There, a dreamy blend of punk aggression with polished, melodic sounds.

“To Disappear,” the bold yet fragile centerpiece of the record, is an elegant slow burn. Impossibly pretty rhythms crawl across a landscape of crisp, weaving guitars, eventually reaching a conclusion that is epic and intense, but still subtle. It’s fitting that according to Hull, the track is about “needing others and telling yourself you don’t,” as its battling elements make for a gorgeous contrast.