by Dan Goldin (@post_trash_)
Welcome to FUZZY MEADOWS, our weekly recap of this week's new music. We're sharing our top ten favorite releases of the week in the form of albums, singles, and music videos along with the "further listening" section of new and notable releases from around the web. It's generally poorly written and totally unedited... but full love of heart. The number rankings are fairly arbitrary and we sincerely recommend checking out all the music included in this feature. There's a lot of great music being released. Support the bands you love. Spread the word and buy some new music. *Disclaimer: We are making a conscious effort not to include any artist in the top ten on back-to-back weeks in order to diversify the feature, so be sure to check the "further listening" as well because it's often "top ten" quality too.
1. PRIESTS | "JJ"
All praise the return of DC's "best new punks" Priests. All jokes aside, I've been in love since the "Personal Planes" 7" and the band only continue to get better with each release. After the pretty much classic Bodies And Control And Money And Power, the band are back with their full length debut Nothing Feels Natural, one of our most anticipated albums of 2017. Lead single "JJ" finds the band as fired up as ever, It captures the band doing what they do best with surf punk guitar melodies, tightly wound rhythms and Katie Alice Greer's ever amazing vocals undulating between deep bellows and beautiful howls. These next few months leading up to the release can't pass quick enough.
2. SUPER UNISON | "Auto" LP
Post-hardcore may just have found the savior it can believe in with Super Unison. If you're going to name yourself after a great Drive Like Jehu song, you better be able to back it up, and thankfully they make the San Diego boys proud. Their full length debut Auto rips from start to finish, it's all pummeling and controlled bite. Meghan O’Neil Pennie's shouts burst like gasoline fire as the trio wind in and out of shifting rhythms and dense distorted punk. Super Unison are are as intelligent as they are abrasive. Brilliance bred by contempt, this is a scathing debut that everyone should be paying attention to.
3. BIG UPS | "An Audiotree Live Session"
Big Ups are, in fact, one of the best live bands in Brooklyn. The band play with a raw energy derived from their combination of twisted post-hardcore and experimental post-punk. Thanks to good people at Audiotree, we can now watch them rip through a set of highlights from this year's Before A Million Universes. Big Ups's latest album pushes the boundaries of their sound into a more experimental world of punk, an expansive album that matches brains and primal intensity. The quiet parts are quieter, the heavy parts more brutal than ever. It's a dynamic record of thoughtful punk and the band's unbridled intensity shines in their live performances, whether at a show or in-studio.
4. TREDICI BACCI | "Drowned" (feat. Jennifer Charles)
It should be known there is only one Tredici Bacci, and literally no one does it quite like them. The Simon Hanes led-ensemble blends Italian pop, orchestral ballads, and post-punk into it's own gorgeous and thought-provoking blend. It honors it's influences while diving ahead into the unknown. Second single "Drowned" stays within the Italian pop pocket, featuring sultry vocals from Elysian Fields' Jennifer Charles. Together with the slowly sweeping strings and horns, Charles lays the perfect layer of melodic longing onto the blissful charm of Hanes and company's finest Morricone homage. The rarest of breeds create the best of records.
5. HELLRAZOR | "Covered In Shit"
Perhaps it's his long running radio show and his love for pop music, perhaps his time spent in bands like Speedy Ortiz and Ovlov, but no one understands a good hook quite like Mike Falcone. While you may know him best as a brutally great drummer, Hellrazor, Falcone's long running band (formerly know as Dead Wives), finds him handling vocals, guitars, and all of the principle songwriting. "Covered In Shit" is the first single from the project's long awaited full length debut, Satan Smile. The trio, rounded out by Jon Hartlett (drums) and Julian Wahlberg (bass), play a sludgy blend of seething indie punk and grunge, heavy on the low end, and undeniably catchy. The song demolishes from start to finish but there's no finer moment than Falcone's inescapable hooks. It's pretty much flawless, have a listen... you'll see.
6. DUCHESS SAYS | "Sciences Nouvelles" LP
Montreal's shapeshifting punks Duchess Says have a reputation for being a wild and utterly captivating live band. Lucky for us, that spastic energy transfers with full chaotic glory to their latest album Sciences Nouvelles. It's not exactly a dangerous "I might get kicked in the head" sort of vibe, but it's unpredictable and vehemently enjoyable. Bursting with more synth exploration than previous records, Duchess Says are forever evolving, scattering their sound between ragged pop and hypnotic punk in surging waves of undeniable greatness. Sciences Nouvelles isn't afraid to take chances and the band's unique blend of garage punk, electro grooves, and raw aggression is sounding better than ever.
7. THE BLIND SHAKE | "Broken Racehorse"
Minneapolis trio The Blind Shake are as dependable as they are prolific. In the past three years alone they've released six albums on some of garage punk's most respectable labels (Castle Face, Goner, Swami, Slovenly) which included a surf rock album with none other than Swami John Reiss. Celebrate Your Worth, their latest could be the band's most diverse record yet. "Broken Racehorse" starts with an ever tight and hypnotic rhythm led by baritone guitars, but there's a futuristic punk sound in the reverb guitars that create something ominous and unsettling. It's a new sound for The Blind Shake, but the bands inescapable locked in rhythms are as impeccable as ever.
8. AXIS: SOVA | "Motor Earth" LP
I don't know how many times I can say it... Axis: Sova shreds. The Chicago based band is led by Brett Sova and his faithful drum machine, but what happens between the programmed rhythms is as loose and free as the wind. Mixing blues, punk, psych, garage, and a fiery passion for an unadulterated solo, Sova and company (Tim Kaiser and Cooper Crain) tear through a mind expanding album of reckless psych and blistering solos (exhibit a: "Love Identity") that never cease and never compromise. While much of Sova's previous material was based in soundscapes and experimental noise, Motor Earth (while still certainly noisy) is a rock 'n' roll album in the best of ways. Tripped out and ready to boogie, Axis: Sova has arrived.
9. DOOMSDAY STUDENT | "LSD Mom"
Those magnificent Rhode Island freaks in Doomsday Student are back again with another noise punk statement, the wildly grooving and ever squealing "LSD Mom". Set to release their third album this winter, the band (comprised of former members of Arab on Radar) keep the sinister mayhem of their former band alive and well (or as well as you can call them). Its the perfect soundtrack to any "nervous breakdown," (their words not ours). The insanity levels are high, but Doomsday Student are deeply in control of the convulsing art punk as their guitars squirm in every direction like spiders crawling across the floor.
10. SOAKER | "Sendhi"
Soaker make the sort of demented noise punk that generally is described as "filthy" or "unapologetic". The Florida based trio are getting ready to release their self-titled debut EP this November via the unstoppable Wharf Cat Records and "Sendhi" is our first garbled taste. It's rough and distorted, with barked vocals echoing through waves of tight reverb. There's joyous rhythmic yelps and bellowing madness buried under a grizzly riff that could tear the paint from the walls.
THE BLIND SHAKE "I Shot All The Birds" | TRUE WIDOW "FWTS:LTM" | FUTURE DEATH "Space Orphans" | SILT "Nineteen" LP | NAVY GANGS "Mondays" | FAKE LIMBS "Matronly" LP | NAIL POLISH "Authentic Living" LP | DICAPRIO "Return to Babylon" | PILL "Dead Boys" | TRAAMS "Slipping b/w Penguin" | BUCK GOOTER "Who Put You In Charge?" | BIG K.R.I.T. "Free Agent" | RED FANG "Only Ghosts" LP | PEELING "Rats In Paradise" EP | MALE BONDING "Headache" LP | BANNED BOOKS "Last Breath" | J. ROBBINS "Our Own Devices" EP | PUSHA T "H.G.T.V." | SHELF LIFE "Spirit Bear" LP | LOU BARLOW "Anniversary Song" | HALFSOUR "Charm School" EP | DEN-MATE "Poison Ivy" | COASTER "Cool" | TAPE DECK MOUNTAIN "I Will Break U" | FLORAL PRINT "Snooze Alarm/Infinite Bliss Machine" | THIS BECOMES US "Undervalue Love" | NASSAU "Wake The Dead" | DEAD LEAF ECHO "I Will Do (Anything)" | THE POWDER ROOM "Lucky" LP | SLOTHRUST "Rotten Pumpkin"
1. LEAPLING | "Tunnelvision"
Experimental power pop auteur Dan Arnes, better known as Leapling, just released the phenomenal Suspended Animation at the beginning of the Summer, but he's back with it's companion piece, Killing Time. Set for release in early November, the EP, set for release on Babe City Records is a collection of songs written during the same time as Suspended Animation that offer a different vibe in its loose and sparse songs. Lead single "Tunnelvision" is Leapling at it's best, diving headfirst into pop splendor with a slow building groove that locks in from the start and never ceases. The near motorik quality of the song's barebones rhythm allows Arnes' soft and melodic vocals to steal the show. He's ready to do the thing.
2. ERIC SCHERMERHORN | "Flowers Now Dry" LP
Eric Schermerhorn's new album is an important record. It's an album created under the worst of circumstances with the intention of creating something. Schermerhorn, better known as Fax Holiday, lost his newborn son, Sage Edward Jackson Schermerhorn, a mere three months after his birth from complications of a rare and devastating Cerebral Arteriovenous Malformation. The tragedy of the loss is unmeasurable and the emotions weighs heavy on Flowers Now Dry, a record ironically recorded before his son's birth. Life can change in a moments notice and there's nothing like devastating experiencing loss to remind us that. Coming to terms with grief is easier said than done, but Schermerhorn is accepting his position and doing what he can to make a difference. All proceeds of Flowers Now Dry will be donated to Dr. Darren Orbach and Dr. Edward Smiths Center for Cerebrovascular Surgery and Interventions. The record is full of somber reflections and slow crawling hope, but the sentiment is clouded with longing in the aftermath of his loss. It's a gorgeous album in the ugliest of times. Eric, our thoughts are with you and your family.
3. BIG BUSINESS | "Blacker Holes"
The last time I saw Big Business play live this summer it helped remind me why the duo are one of my favorite bands. Sure, I didn't really need the reminder, but hot damn, they are amazing. Thankfully, the band is back to their duo line-up, doing what they do best throughout their new boundary pushing album Command Your Weather, a record that relies as much on prog and punk as sludge or metal. The "Blacker Holes" video captures a coven of modern day witches taking charge against some greedy developers (er... "big business" the idea, not the band). We're all for it. Bring on the witches. There's a great cameo from Willis and Warren, and I only wish they had more screen time. In this particular case, the more Big Business, the better.
4. MANNEQUIN PUSSY | "Romantic" LP
Anyone can tell you the new Mannequin Pussy album slays. It's a widely excepted fact at this point. The Philadelphia quartet have combined all their strengths into one of the most impressive and undeniable records of the fall. From sultry pop to blistering hardcore, Mannequin Pussy roar with emotional intensity at both its most beautiful and scathing, and they slink between the two with ease. Clocking in under twenty minutes in length, Romantic covers a vast array of punk in short poetic bursts of calculated angst and raw disdain. It's a pop record for the hardcore crowd and a punk record for the indie kids. It's everything you can ask for. True romance.
5. WEAVES | "Shithole"
Weaves' unique "bent pop" sound makes them one of the best "breakthrough" bands of the year, an energetic quartet that balances pop with complex post-punk twists and turns. Weaves is an infectious record, with each song simply slaughtering an array of inescapable hooks. On an album of impeccable songs, "Shithole" may just be my favorite... and now it has a video. Much like their music, the clip seems fairly straight forward but it's undeniably strange as it keeps you wondering just what comes next. Weaves are happy to get weird and we all benefit as a result.
6. REALLY BIG PINECONE | "What I Said About The Pinecone" EP
Brooklyn's Really Big Pinecone have returned with their sophomore EP, yet again proving pop music at its most experimental is something a lot like witnessing real magic. Short spurts of pop bliss and unpredictable shifts blend together with an impossible sense of ease. Listening to What I Said About The Pinecone is something like a choose-your-own-adventure story where there's something new to discover with every listen. Any path you take is stunning and you can't go wrong with their delicate and ornate constructions. The record unfolds like a shimmering dream, winding it's way through dream pop, art rock, and twee charm with an understated complexity just under the immediate melodies and soft focused hooks.
7. FLASHER | "Destroy"
DC's Flasher make the smoothest of post-punk. It's wiry and full of energy with sharp hooks and twisted chords that tangle themselves into the sweetest of knots. The band's self-titled EP is a mature and fully realized effort, an impressive debut of retro-tinged post-punk and raw minimalism. Featuring members of Priests, Big Hush, and Bless, their "DC revival" pedigree speaks volumes, but their EP speaks louder. Set for a re-release on vinyl this fall, the band are sharing a video for "Destroy," the album's slick closer. The video is lush with a feeling of sarcasm, a self aware pop video that does a great job of capturing the band's sense of humor and charm.
8. CFM | "The Stooge"
CFM's (the solo project of Charles Moothart) resume really does speak a great deal for his music. The man needs little introduction as a member of the Ty Segall Band, Fuzz, and Gøggs. Earlier this year Moothart released his full length debut and much like his musical companion Ty Segall, one album a year rarely will suffice. Next month he's releasing Homegrown Paranoia, a new EP that judging by the first single is most certain to be another shred fest. "The Stooge" is more punk and less psych than the project's debut album (an exceptional record that I highly recommend) and well... it rips one incredibly dissonant solo that bleeds through the rough production. In this week's edition of "damn, this song rips" we present: CFM.
9. DEERHOOF | "Risk Free"
It's only been a couple month since Deerhoof released their latest album, The Magic, a wild record that had the quartet pushing new ground (even for them). Well, the prolific band is back with an upcoming 7" single on Famous Class and oddly enough... a European tour with Red Hot Chili Peppers. "Risk Free" is a big grooving menace of disjointed rhythms and choppy riffs in true Deerhoof glory. It's radiant and full of hooks in both the guitar lines and Satomi's bubblegum vocals. The twisted funk and detached art-rock the band have become known for sounds as vibrant as ever. "Risk Free" sounds like an auditory celebration from a band that continues to forever amaze.
10. THE MEN | "Crime"
There are few bands that work on a trajectory quite like The Men. While the band started as a wild and expansive noise rock band (incorporating heavy music in just about all variations on their classic sophomore album Leave Home), the band began a perpetual shift toward classic rock and dare I say "dad rock" over the next three records. The Brooklyn band seemed to have abandoned the chaotic sound they once did so well, though they continued to make interesting albums, favoring psych and calm(er) folk influences. However, in an unprecedented and most awesome change of pace, The Men are back making noise, and if the first two singles from their upcoming album Devil Music are anything to go by, their new record will be a welcome breath of fresh (and brutal) air. The Men are making the records they want to make, and they make them well, but we're overjoyed to hear a bit of noise and filth back in the mix. "Crime" is full of claustrophobic fuzz riffs and dense fury and I couldn't be more excited for Devil Music to arrive.
SURFACE TO AIR MISSIVE "Full Love Wonder" | NAIL POLISH "Chophouse Row" | NOCTURNAL HABITS "New Skin" | CLOUD BECOMES YOUR HAND "Garden of the Ape" | HELLRAZOR "Vegas" | MARCHING CHURCH "Lion's Den" | GLAND "Cram It" | VERY FRESH "Hat Tree" | KOOL KEITH "Super Hero" (feat. MF Doom) | FORTH WANDERERS "Nerves" | NEW HOLLAND "Alligator" | MARK SULTAN "Now You're Gone" | THE INTENDED "Don't Wait Too Long" | DAVID BOWIE "When I Met You" + "No Plan" | PEELING "Leisure Life" | DANNY & THE DARLEANS "Bug Out Bag" | SAD13 "Devil In U" | URANIUM CLUB "Who Made The Man?" | TITLE TRACKS "Low Cool" | TEEN SUICIDE "Bonus EP" | BRUNCH "Taxi Feelings" | THE FLAMING LIPS "The Castle" | HIDDEN RITUAL "Always" LP | ODONIS ODONIS "Game + Betrayal" | TYVEK "Girl On A Bicycle" | ALL BOY/ALL GIRL "Slagroom" LP | WING DAM "I'm Wild" | DARK BLUE "Bombs On The Beach" | CROCODILES "Dreamless" LP | MERSO "Red World" EP | CROWS "The Itch" | PUSCIFER "The Arsonist" | FRANK WEYSOS "Annie Moore"