The pain and angst that might have underlined Katharine Seggerman’s earlier lyrics has been transmuted. That pain has been harvested and repurposed into sharp, witty lyrics, bold sing-along choruses, and clever song structures.
The Portland, ME trio are keeping true to their lo-fi roots however, and with that comes prolific schedules. The band will release a new 7” single on August 23rd via Salty Speakers (Rick Rude, Greed Island) and that ramshackle, this-could-fall-apart-at-any-minute, spirit remains alive and majestic on our first taste of the record, “Cup.”
Sometimes the best way to truly view the scope of sonic assault is to pair different takes on the genre together, which Retratando Voces have done with a split between Don’t Try and Black Ribbon. While one is based in the low-end grit of noise rock dirt, the other takes an electronic approach, but both are equally obliged to demolish eardrums.
“Talking Secret” from young Los Angeles-based upstarts Milly is a true slow-burn that oozes thick, syrupy melodies that unfold at a deliberate but assured pace. The band’s first single on Dangerbird Records is complete with a seemingly straightforward video directed by Logan Rice that matches the song’s delightfully moody atmosphere.
Kleinmeister’s second single, “Beauty,” starts with familiar warm tape hiss and soft, driving guitar. The singing on the song immediately sets it apart, more present and raw than on Garbus’ previous recordings, with swooping delivery that begins slow and deliberate and gradually works in more movement and impulse.
“Hands of the Devil” is emblematic of Pet Town as a whole: Tadic’s voice moves in the rhythm of a playground chant, her guitar picked in a lilting, whimsical manner, and the scant handclap percussion giving the recording an intimate, live feel. What I value most about “Hands of the Devil” is how tactile the song feels.
Blazar, a relatively new band, are no strangers to the punk scene. Vocalist Jack Vermillion was once a member of stalwart Tallahassee group Ex-Breathers, while the band’s Nick Derella also shreds in Night Witch. Reach Out is noisy, fast-paced, and thrilling -- a record that grips you from the first chord until finally spitting you out at the last.
Undercurrent, their second LP, is the product of an entirely separate cast of evil doctrine. Its compositions leap from the speakers to place a hand around your throat like vengeful oni manifesting from folds of a recently translated and cursed scroll. The chord progressions are more muscular. The production is cleaner.
Boston trio Sneeze are getting ready to release their third full length album (and fifth release overall), Fin, due out September 13th via Tor Johnson Records. Recorded once again with the renowned Justin Pizzoferrato, the band are honing in their blend of grunge, pop punk, and fuzz, adding a degree of clarity to their expanding dynamics.