by Post-Trash Staff
Welcome to FUZZY MEADOWS, your home away from home where we recap the past week in 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. 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 one 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.
1. DINOSAUR JR. | "Tiny"
Dinosaur Jr. have been making great album for 30 years now. That's three decades of blistering guitar solos and J. Mascis' signature ragged vocals. They're one of the greatest bands in the world and their contribution to "indie sludge" is unmatched in every regard. At this point in time, no one should be surprised that new Dinosaur Jr. albums still sound great... it's not shocking, it's flat out expected. Since the original line up of Mascis, Lou Barlow, and Murph reconnected back in 2007, the band have released a trio of records and played many of their biggest shows to date (including celebratory runs for Dinosaur, You're Living All Over Me, and Bug). Of the records released in the past decade, Beyond and Farm reside in good company among the best in their catalog. I Bet On Sky might not have been the band's finest hour, but the record did prove the band were still interested in taking chances after all these years with new ideas and diverse influences (let us not forget that Mascis described a lot of the album as "funky" and for better or worse he wasn't wrong).
Here we are in 2016 and the band are getting ready to release Give A Glimpse Of What Yer Not and if the first single "Tiny" is anything to go by (and I feel given their track record it most certainly should be) then we're in store for yet another impeccable album from the "Sludgefeast" overlords. Reminder: don't act surprised, we're talking about the one and only Dinosaur Jr. So... what does "Tiny" sound like? Quintessential Dinosaur Jr. The rhythm section blasts through a dense pop structure, driving the primal thuds into submission as Barlow and Murph have been known to do so well. Mascis' guitar lines continuously explode, offering roaring (and ever so melodic) feedback and the eventual spine-tingling solo that rips in the way millions of slacker punk guitarists will forever dream to replicate, but there is but one J. Mascis (and one Neil Young for that matter... but let's face it, he hasn't had the best few weeks recently). "Tiny" sounds like classic Dinosaur Jr. and the ol' Freak Scene continues to grow. - Dan Goldin
2. LEAPLING | "You Lemme Know"
Leapling got punk and you never saw it coming. It's glorious. It's hypnotic. It rages with a hushed beauty. It's over and done before two minutes have passed. Channeling the post-punk of Wire with a power-pop nuance, "You Lemme Know” is a frantic burst of punk that drips with a motorik groove, simplistic chord progression, and driving garage pop. It’s brilliant and shimmering, short and sweet, a raucous moment from an eclectic album. One of the band's live staples, the song is built around an enormous magnetic surge that blasts with soul from start to finish… Leapling can do it all and they do it so damn well. Trust me, you're gonna want to repeat this one a few times. - DG
3. CLOUD BECOMES YOUR HAND | "Hermit"
There's something about Cloud Becomes Your Hand's music that carries an animated quality with it. We're not calling it goofy, but their elastic experimental psych has a certain cartoonish aura that I've never been able to escape, so it's fitting that "Hermit" gets a delightfully weird and partially animated video that mixes shots of the band with an ever shifting array of colorful animation and quirky (that good quirk) performance footage. Their music is epic on a very grand scale and yet CBYH don't seem to take themselves all too seriously. It's their levity and penchant for the stranger side of the psychedelic art-rock/prog world that make them so unique. It's hard to watch this video and not love this band, so don't fight it. - DG
4. THEE OH SEES | "Plastic Plant"
A quick tom fill and it’s off; “Plastic Plant” wastes no time diving into Thee Oh Sees’ trademark psych attack. This one’s off their forthcoming album, A Weird Exits, due on August 12 through John Dwyer’s Castle Face Records. “Plastic Plant” doesn’t fuck with Dwyer’s tried-and-true blueprint for a rock ‘n’ roll rave up. The riff is established before dropping down to a sweet falsetto melody over a laid-back verse. Just long enough before the chorus' wave comes crashing in again, punctuated by Dwyer’s gunshot ‘Woo!’ The album is the first studio record using double drummers, but for most of “Plants” each of them is synced up for maximum rhythmic heft. It’s an exciting element for this already potent mix that should bode well for the band’s upcoming album. - Kelly Johnson
5. THE CRATERS | "Kids Can Tell"
The Boston based “weird pop” project led by Wes Kaplan has been one of the city's best kept underground secrets over the past few years but The Craters are getting ready to release the Kids Can Tell EP via Designer Medium Records later this month and word is spreading. Kaplan has been creating vibrant bedroom pop and experimental lo-fi psych for several years under the moniker of The Craters, but Kids Can Tell feels much like his first “official” release, a brief EP that captures much of the magic his music offers. Much like the skewed indie charm of Krill and Horse Jumper of Love, The Craters have dedicated themselves to keeping pop music strange, experimenting with post-production manipulation and simple songs that focus on hooks while pushing boundaries of pop’s capabilities. “Kids Can Tell” is an infectious single with easy going melodies, warped harmonics and a hypnotic bridge, swirling together with Kaplan’s colorful songwriting palette. Spread the word, The Craters fuzzy tape magic has returned. - DG
6. DORIES | "Twin"
We shared the premiere of Dories' "Twin" on Post-Trash and well... we're sharing it again because this song deserves your time and your obsession. The second single to be released from Outside Observer hit me immediately upon first listen. Built on a plodding bass line, the song is quickly swallowed whole with an all out caterwauling guitar attack, Dories drive the song into a panic from the onset, pummeling with repetition and an alarmingly hypnotic groove. This is the tangled and pulsating post-punk clamor dreams are made of. The frantic rhythms slide in and out under the vicious lead, pulling the song in perpetual motion as the band mount tension in the most glorious of ways. There's an unflinching calm to the band's spastic charm as Dories manipulate complex shifts and progressions into something casual and inviting, the beauty of which lies in the sense that dissonance is always lurking just around the corner. - DG
7. MOTHERS | "Copper Mines"
If you've been on Post-Trash at all in the past couple months, you've probably noticed we're big fans of Athens band Mothers. This four-piece can jump from starry-eyed and lethargic to frenzied and urgent in a moment’s notice, so we're excited that their new video for the still-incredible tune “Copper Mines” is all these things in one. Our protagonist’s expression remains curiously confused as he's rushed through ordeals as trying as becoming a backboard for some kids’ ball game, being buried alive, and having his face painted over as he peeps through a fence. It gets pretty surreal and scattered at times, which is fitting when you look at this dude’s unsettling facial expression.
Which, by the way, is also hilarious and absurd. His smile is suspended open by two massive pieces of gum lodged in either cheek, which is a pretty incredible contrast to being locked in someone’s trunk after accidentally being included in their groceries. It seems like an expression of giving up fighting obstacles and staying strong in the face of adversity instead, which Mothers just so happen to do quite well in their music. - Max Freedman
8. OMNI | "Wire"
Atlanta's Omni is a new band from former Deerhunter guitarist Frankie Broyles and former Carnivores bassist/vocalist Philip Frobos and drummer Billy Mitchell that specialize in skittish post-punk. Their debut sounds retro and futuristic in the way that Devo once made possible and "Wire" is one of the album's definite highlights (and not just a clever name when going down the list of influences). It's loose and jittery, moving with a luxurious post-punk groove as they sing "let's share champagne in the sand" over the video's spliced up imagery that's more screen saver than anything remotely "high concept". Omni wrap their chords tightly around the smooth rhythms and the results feel like a celebration of post-punk's origins. We're all for it, let's celebrate. - DG
9. WEAVES | "Coo Coo"
I first listened to Weaves when people started raving about this Toronto’s bands shows at last year’s CMJ. Normally, hype after a big annual festival or industry event like this one might not interest me, but the frequent Deerhoof comparisons piqued my interest; they also happened to be pretty on point. “Coo Coo” is actually one of the less Deerhoof-y songs on Weaves’ upcoming self-titled debut LP, but it feels appropriate to mention here because this is quite literally a song whose name is the very word many Deerhoof detractors might use to describe that band.
Weaves have an advantage here, though: they often scale back on the outright experimentation and jagged dissonance many might expect in light of Deerhoof comparisons, especially on “Coo Coo.” By Weaves’ own brash, riotous standards, this song is practically 311’s “Amber,” its summery guitar licks and scaled-back percussion combining with Jasmyn Burke’s softly spoken vocals to form a tropical breeze of a tune. Its weirdness is relegated to its whimsical lyrics and the guitar wails that follow the song’s second chorus. But these screeches are merely wails compared to what Weaves have previously offered on songs like “Candy” and “One More.” With their debut just moments away, it's nice to hear their smoother side. - MF
10. VHS - "Public Act"
We first wrote about VHS (aka Violent Human System) nearly two months ago when their first single "Art Decay" introduced us to the band in a big way. We called them "terrifically dissonant" and described their sound by saying "It's punk and it's pissed... but it's also infectious and engaging". Well, VHS are back with another single and while we still don't know too much about the band, they once again have made the "Fuzzy Meadows" countdown on sheer primal punk merit alone. They don't sound quite as disgusted this time around with "Public Act," but they're certainly still annoyed and their dismay for society and the paranoia that comes from a lack of privacy is focused and well executed through storming drums and fuzzy layers of distortion. The highlight of the track comes in the song's melodically slurred vocals and exaggerated shouts that recall Eagulls' earliest (and best) songs. Consider us agitated (just kidding... eager) to hear this album in full. - DG
BAMBARA "I Don't Mind" | DORIES "Outside Observer" LP | TY SEGALL "Candy Sam" | DEERHOOF "That Ain't No Life To Me" | COTTAGING "Mamajuana Nightcap" | SPEEDY ORTIZ "Emma O" | US WEEKLY "Imploading" EP | SOFT FANGS "Golden" | WALTER SCHREIFELS "Overjoyed" | GUERILLA TOSS "367 Equalizer" | BRENDA'S FRIEND "House Down" EP | CLIQUE "Burden Piece" LP | FURNSSS "Roll With It" | NO JOY "A Thorn In Garland's Side" | CE SCHNEIDER TOPICAL "Exit All Seasons" | MOURN "Irrational Friend" | DION LUNADON "1976" | FAT WHITE FAMILY "Tinfoil Deathstar" | HOODED FANG "Impressions" | THE CLAYPOOL LENNON DELIRIUM "Monolith of Phobos" LP | SCROLL DOWNERS "Two Clowns" | TRUST PUNKS "Good Luck With That" | BEN GRIGG "Can't Do Anything" | YUCKY DUSTER "Flip Flop" | BOYFRNDZ "Impulse" LP | PINK MEXICO "Buzz Kill" | SUMMER CANNIBALS "Full Of It" LP | ORB "Reflection" | MY DISCO "Careless" | SWANS "When Will I Return" | SHEER MAG "Nobody's Baby" | NIGHT SCHOOL "Casanova" | PYLON "Volume" | JEFF ZAGERS "The Dark End of The Street" | MUMBLR "VHS"
1. PALM | "Audiotree Live Session"
Palm. Do I even need to say more? Except no substitutes because let's be honest, no one can do it quite like they do. Seeing them live is kind of like witnessing a miracle and thanks to a recent Audiotree Live Session, you can watch the band's cacophonous tangled mayhem up-close-and-personal anytime your heart desires. The set borders on the unbelievable in the way Palm do so well, pulling together complex and dissonant fractured chords and rhythms into something infectious and furiously engaging to the point where you can't help but feel things just may never be the same again. For every chord built around atonal arpeggiated madness, there's a carefully constructed and unnervingly spastic rhythm waiting to intersect it in the most magical of ways. Oh, and that "Untitled" song is unreal. Art-punk deconstructed with pop charm, Palm are a very important band. We hope everyone is paying attention. - DG
2. PUDGE | "Backstabber" EP
New Orleans' Pudge didn't take themselves too seriously when they decided to become a band... and then they released one of our absolute favorite records of the year, the utterly essential Bad Land. That was only four months ago and the band are already back with another cow-punk tinged blast of hardcore via the Backstabber EP. The band take a slightly different path with Backstabber, relying more heavily on their hardcore sensibilities than their SST punk twang (though that's still there too, just listen to "Stranger"), but there's a filthy sense of immediacy and destructive chaos that swirls throughout the record. It's more direct and increasingly focused, and while we love the detached detours of Bad Land, the change could simply be a result of the record being a six track EP as opposed to twenty song LP... or maybe the band are changing gears and buckling down. It doesn't really matter, Pudge reign supreme either way.
Avoiding social networks and press campaigns, Pudge dropped Backstabber without warning (because why should Beyonce have all the fun) and word of mouth is spreading (do your part, we'll do ours). The title track, one of the many stand-outs, is explosive and deranged, building up with a slow rumbling bass before the quartet simply burn it all down to the ground. Pudge are one of the most exciting up-and-coming DIY bands out there right now and Backstabber further cements that fact with another rapid blast of pure agitated enjoyment. Word on the street is they have another record coming before long... we just hope everyone has time to catch up on one of the brightest young punk bands around. - DG
3. JACKAL ONASIS | "Big Deal Party"
“Big Deal Party,” the second single from Jackal Onasis' debut once again finds Jordyn Blakely (drums/vocals) on lead vocals, floating gracefully atop twisted riffs and careening rhythms with a dizzying abandonment. Don't get spun though because it’s the song’s enormous hook that really steals the show. It’s anthemic without trying, like a towering mix of complex post-punk and slacker indie pop. The video, essentially a live performance directed by Brant Louck, features manipulated tape effects, gorgeous fades and overlapped footage, capturing the essence of their sound with the shimmering 90’s vibe. It’s simple and moody and fits the feedback of the track to perfection. - DG
4. COUGH | "Still They Pray" LP
Do you like doom metal? Do you love bands such as Sleep and Electric Wizard? Do you currently own a bong and have a sweet spot for earthquaking low end? If you answered yes to any of the above... Cough's latest album Still They Pray is pretty much required listening. It's only June but I feel pretty confident to crown it the year's best doom record (even with rumblings of new EW on the way). Drowning in anguish and sludge as thick as bricks, the Richmond band's time away has been worth the wait, this could just be their masterpiece. Dense, depraved, and violently psychedelic, the colossal weight of Still They Pray is dragged through unsettling depths and monolithic despair, but it's the record's desire to veer from the genre's expectations that define it. Drifting through passages of washed out psych dirges, blistering duel guitar solos and crushing slow-drip thrash brutality, the album, recorded by Electric Wizard's Jus Oborn and Windhand’s Garrett Morris, raises the bar for modern doom, and the genre may just have a new classic. - DG
5. SKATEBORED | "Skatebored" EP
Alex Molini (ex-Dirty Dishes), Steve Hartlett (Stove), and Jil Medford (IAN) have teamed up on the excellent Skatebored, an internet-only release that eschews any specific nature in favor of exceedingly catchy lo-fi pop. “Cowboy” and “America’s Dog” are both saccharine sweet pop tunes that convey meaning without sonic weight – they float through the ether precisely as the best summer music does. Indeed these songs register as profoundly seasonal tunes, obscured behind a layer of fuzz that feels like the oppressive northeastern heat and humidity. Or maybe that’s just because its really hot out. - Niccolo Dante Porcello
6. PILL | "Medicine"
There's something inescapably "drugged out" about Pill's music. Maybe it's the fact the band is called Pill... maybe it's that the lead single from their upcoming full length debut Convenience is called "Medicine"... maybe it's the droning sax that roars through all their songs... we can go on all day, but it's irrelevant, what is of the most importance however is that we all agree, Pill are a great New York post-punk band at their weirdest and at their most accessible. "Medicine" and their upcoming record play it a bit safer than their earliest material, but the sinister post-punk darkness remains in tact amid a push for stronger melodies (albeit severly twisted ones). The blissfully psychedelic video intersperses the band with a tripped cartoon world not too far from Roger Rabbit's Toon Town, the perfect visual pairing for the skronky art-punk pop damaged single. It's all pretty brilliant and it gets better with each listen. "Medicine, take it tomorrow" because getting hooked was never this good of an idea. - DG
7. MELVINS | "Basses Loaded" LP
I don't want to say too much about this record since I'm working on a full length review (my first in many years). I will say this though... the Melvins are one of my all time favorite bands and a constant source of inspiration and motivation. Unlike some more popular sites who chose to poo-poo this record, I think it's another great (and weird) dose of the Melvins having a good ol' sludgy fun time. Simply listen to three of the album's stand-out tracks, album opener "The Decay Of Lying," the Trevor Dunn assisted jazz odyssey "Planet Distructo" and the Krist Novoselic accordion heavy barn-burner "Maybe I Am Amused" and it's clear the Melvins haven't grown tired as they plow through bellowing slow burning sludge, spaced out jazz-fusion and a real backyard jamboree boogie. The band and their onslaught of bassists continue to do what they want, and we continue to benefit. More on that to come (as soon as I write that review).
8. SPOOK THE HERD | "Slurpee Surf"
"Slurpee Surf" is the first single from Spook The Herd's upcoming release The Small Wins EP, a fuzzy parade of sunshine pop and bubblegum melodies that has that "song of the summer" type feel to it. Comprised of Jesse Weiss (Palehound, Grass Is Green) and Abe Kimball (Vending Machetes), their latest effort finds the two Boston musicians embracing pop at it's purest (though with decidedly more Boston DIY scene flavor), forgoing much of the tangled post-punk and post-hardcore leanings of their previous releases. Blending together big anthemic grunge and sugary pop structures, Spook The Herd are having themselves some serious fun, and the cavalcade of hooks and harmonies assure their new songs are as vibrant as they can be. - DG
9. WHELPWISHER | "Zilch" EP
It's becoming increasing hard to keep track of the post-Geronimo! projects. There's Milked. There's Hung Toys. There's Future Biff (more on that next week). There's Whelpwisher. One thing is for certain though, they're all awesome and it's great to see all three members of the band staying active and continuing to write great music. Whelpwisher is the solo project of Geronimo! keyboardist, Ben Grigg. The basement recordings are blown out and ringing with intensity in the best of ways as the songs wind down the rabbit hole of indie rock, crashing post-punk, and warm psych. The ideas are quick and sharp, exploding in short bursts of focused energy and enchanting dirges of low end. It's crunchy, but not in the jam band sort of way, more in the Earth collapsing (happily) underneath your feet sense, and we say let it crumble with smiles on our faces. Grigg is welcoming us into his process with raw recordings that capture the essence and atmosphere of his clamoring noise influenced indie-pop sludge. We wish him whelp in the years to come. - DG
10. BIG BUSINESS | "Regulars"
Is "Regulars" Big Business' attempt at a ballad? I doubt it, but it's not too far off the mark and the song most definitely finds the band at their most melodic. There's a general sense of unease and doom, but the song is primarily... dare I say it, pretty. Jared Warren's (bass/vocals) howl remains primal and bellowing but the trance like drive of the bass line (just look at that soundwave) and the tribal assault of the syncopated drum beat grooves, man... it really fucking grooves. There's nothing slow and lurching about the song, the duo stay locked into a steady "demolish" tempo, but despite the brawny pummel, there's something unusually peaceful about it... like Big Business as the soundtrack to yoga or eating pudding on valium. There's a glow. There are "vibes" and yet, it's still Big Business as usual. - DG
WAND "Passage of the Dream" | DINOSAUR JR. "Goin' Down" | THE BEACH BOYS "Sloop John B (Live 1966)" | THE BEACH BOYS "I Know There's An Answer (Alternative Mix)" | CHRIS COHEN "Yesterday's On My Mind" | BLONDE REDHEAD "Dripping" | ANGEL OLSEN "Intern" | THE GOTOBEDS "Blood // Sugar //Secs // Traffic" LP | JAMES ARTHUR'S MANHUNT "Kill Zone" | ELVIS DEPRESSEDLY "Up In The Air" | YUCKY DUSTER "Yucky Duster" LP | USELESS EATERS "Relaxing Death" LP | TERRY "Third War" | COOL GHOULS "Sundial" | HELIOTROPES "Wherever You Live" | EARRING "Slow Mud" | MOURN "Ha, Ha, He." LP | ELVIS DEPRESSEDLY "Holo Pleasures / California Dreamin'" LP | TIERGARTEN "Paradigm" | PSYCHIC ILLS "Inner Journey Out" LP | HONEYUCK "Best Thought" | FAKE PALMS "Fever Dreams" | BECK "Wow" | SAT. NITE DUETS "St. Yuppie" | PJ HARVEY "The Orange Monkey" | KISS CONCERT "S'peach S'peach"