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. STOVE | "Blank"
Stove are back with Is The Meat That Fell Out, their second new EP of the year. First single "Blank" features the band's drummer Jordyn Blakely on lead vocals and guitar. It's something undeniably different for the band and yet there's a familiar sound to the song that fits well within the world of Stove's music. Built around Blakely's gorgeous vocal melodies and driving guitar chug, the song's sleepy fuzz pop sound benefits from lo-fi simplicity and warped chord progressions. It's another bold move that works wonders from a band that can seemingly do it all with nearly every member contributing their own ideas to band's laid back brilliance. The video is a spiritual mirror image to "Graduate and Congratulate" this time following Blakely through her own transition as opposed to Steve Hartlett. It’s a goofy video with a few hilarious moments for a song that’s undoubtably awesome.
2. RICK RUDE | "Mauve Talk"
Rick Rude's new album Make Mine Tuesday doesn't come out until late January but I've probably listened to the record about 30x in the past few weeks and though 2017 hasn't even begun, I feel pretty confident in saying it will be one of my personal favorites come this time next year. The New Hampshire quartet's record is a diverse with with no single song representative of their sound or songwriting. For example: "Mauve Talk," the album's first single, is an anthem, a mantra, and a call to arms so to speak. The nearly instrumental track works as a perfect transition from the band’s earliest days to their current sound, eschewing common structures in favor of shredding. They rip through a dizzying math rock intro into fuzzy builds and dynamic solos before the blissful gang vocals declare "make way Monday, take Tuesday back again". It's as much an ode to the band's Tuesday practices as it as to their desire to simple make music with friends. "Mauve Talk" may not be reflective of the album as a whole, but it's a damn fine introduction.
3. NINE OF SWORDS | "You Will Never Die" LP
I said last week that Nine of Swords' latest album You WIll Never Die is "a vicious album that claws and stampedes in the name of human decency. The band's blend of hardcore, sludge, and unhinged post-hardcore is refined and perfected, dripping with just the right amounts of bile and aggression to shake your senses while channeling their fury into short unapologetic missives." The band released their album on Thanksgiving, just in time for some quality time with the family... grandma, pumpkin pie, and Nine of Swords. You don't need to love hardcore to love the band, hell, I'd venture so far as to say that you don't even have to love heavy music (though it helps). There's enough nuance and texture in Nine of Swords sound to provide a real balance, calming moments of clarity amid the frustration and burning fury. Throughout the record the band flex their collective muscles, blending brilliance and brawn in equal measure in a way that few bands can. It's a record that refuses to sit still and refuses to play things cool. There's a certain sense of violence found in You Will Never Die but it's delivered with passion and undeterred reason. Consider this one essential listening.
4. BETHLEHEM STEEL | "Finger It Out" (I Like It Session)
I can't wait to hear Bethlehem Steel's upcoming album. With every compilation offering, live session, and demo that floats onto the internet, the anticipation only builds. Recently Bethlehem Steel's Becca Ryskalczyk joined New Noise Magazine their "I Like It Sessions" to perform another new song called "Finger It Out" together with a few puppets to keep the mood light. The song is full of intense moments and stunning vocals with a sense of shaky mental states and the desire for basic needs. It's a sweeping song that transcends through peaks and lows of passion and despair. This record can't come out soon enough. Until then, we have this.
5. LOWER PLENTY | "Glory Rats"
I have taken an interest in what Bedroom Suck Records have been up to ever since they released Fat History Month's Safe & Sound 7" back in 2011. FHM are one of my all time favorite bands, and to see a label based all the way in Australia pursuing their music felt like no small gesture. Since then they've released great albums from Australian garage pop and punk bands like Boomgates, Scott & Charlene's Wedding, and the terrifically folky Lower Plenty. While Lower Plenty share members with Deaf Wish, Total Control and The UV Race there's little aggressive or "punk" about the trio who favor acoustic instruments and natural feelings to anything distorted or abrasive. There's still dissonance though and a defiant looseness to their sound as songs like "Glory Rats" showcase their bristling outlaw country with a one foot tangled in tightly wound blues and the other ensnared in a harmonized gospel psychedelia. It's folk for the end times.
6. CREEPOID | "Dripping Eyelids"
Ever since I first heard Creepoid's "Wishing Well" I've been hooked on their most subdued and (mostly) acoustic songs. The Philadelphia quartet are able to blend folk and shoegaze with ominous atmosphere and warm soundscapes like the feeling of staring into the sun too long. "Dripping Eyelids," the first single from their latest release, Burner, is a treasure trove of slow burning beauty and layered melodies. Revolving between a hazy landscape of whirring effects and lush acoustic guitars, Creepoid dig into their dreamiest of psych influences and they've rarely sounded better.
7. CREATUROS | "Be Gone"
It's been two years since we've heard new music from Boston's best garage psych band, Creaturos, but the band are back with a new single for a great cause. "Be Gone" blends infectious surf punk riffs and nasally howled vocals that warn against the price of consuming and life spent with your head in the sand. It's tightly wound and ready to burst and it feels something like looking into a kaleidoscope when it finally explodes, briefly pulling the song into a bad trip of wavy sludge and chaos before snapping back into the band's hypnotic groove. All proceeds of "Be Gone" go directly to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe so consider chipping in if you can. #NoDAPL
8. PLUM PROFESSIONAL | "Deep Double Blind"
"Deep Double Blind" is a retro-futuristic pop nugget of the most Plum Professional with guest vocals from Weyes Blood aka Natalie Mering. Luke Csehak's (The Lentils, Happy Jawbone) spindly guitar line sets the tone from the start, an angular yet inviting riff that works together with Michael Chadwick's twinkling MIDI grooves. Csehak and Mering bounce vocals back and forth, pairing together like a long lost prog-tweaked psych hit from the Summer of Love. The song balances between busy synths, a jangly mix of blues and spaghetti western riffs, the vocal's gorgeous harmonies, and the undeniable chemistry of the band's call-and-response structuring. It's a stunning song with layers of interesting hooks, surreal lyricism, and tangled melodies. "Deep Double Blind" is the paisley-prog standard we never knew we were waiting for but needed all along.
9. WE LEAVE AT MIDNIGHT | "Do You Get The Joke"
We Leave At Midnight's upcoming album The Holy Rolling Flower Band is the type of record that really needs to be heard in full. It works as stand-alone singles, but the it's liking looking at one small piece and trying to envision the entire painting. “Do You Get The Joke?” is one of the album’s undeniable stand out moments, a gorgeous psych pop nugget of lush orchestration, harmonized beauty, and avant folk charm. Led by a twangy lead guitar and plinking pianos, the band sweep you in with warped synths and sharp riffs that fade in and out without notice. The song’s vibrant instrumentation and gentle vocals swirl together with a joyous wonder in a radiantly positive way.
10. NELSONVILLAINS | "Death of a Love Song (Demos)" LP
Before Jake Harms led What Moon Things there was Nelsonvillains, a band that was a product of the same fertile (extended) scene that bred bands like Porches, Summer People, and Battle Ave. While the band eventually fizzled out as the members lives went in different directions, they released one awesome full length and a pair of singles. Left with a handful of remaining songs that Harms wrote between 2011 and 2013, we now have Death of a Love Song (Demos), a collection of newly recorded home demos from that material. It's a great reminder of the solemn beauty that was Nelsonvillains, a band that mixed lo-fi folk, heart-wrenching indie rock, and dusty pop that recalls an early version of the aforementioned Porches as well as Elliott Smith and Nick Drake.
BREAST MASSAGE "Cruisin' For Filth" EP | MARK SULTAN "BBQ" LP | TRAINDODGE "Stories of the Alone" | THE ADVENTURES OF THE SILVER SPACEMAN "Weather King Part II" | LOST BOY ? "World Psychosis" | CAITLIN PASKO "Barking Dog" | AFGHAN WHIGS "Regret" (New Order cover) | HEALTH "L.A. Looks" | LOU BARLOW "The Breeze" | PROPER ORNAMENTS "Cremated (Blown Away)"