Welcome to FUZZY MEADOWS, our weekly recap of this week's new music. We're sharing our 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 written in the early hours of the morning and semi-unedited... but full of love and heart. The number rankings are arbitrary and we sincerely recommend checking out all the music included. There's a lot of great new 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 our countdown 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 of "countdown" quality too.
1. PILE | "Baby Boy (Live at Shea Stadium)"
Make no mistake, Pile is one of the best bands going. Their records are whip-smart and inspiring, but the band’s live shows are something to behold. While this isn’t a full live set from the band—instead, it’s a collection of tracks recorded at Shea Stadium, with all proceeds going to the venue’s wildly successful Kickstarter—it is one of the first recorded documents of Pile’s power in a live setting. Serving both as a chronicle of one of New York City’s most important DIY venues, it also shows Pile ripping through Dripping’s opening track, with Rick Maguire able to throw in a rolling set of vowels into the first verse and give it a totally new feeling. The band sounds invigorated, with each transition making you want to drop what you’re doing, run closer the sound, and scream along with it. Long live Shea. Long live Pile. - David Anthony
2. BLESSED | "Body"
Blessed’s latest single "Body" is built on shimmering art rock experimentation, tangled riffs, and an impeccably nimble rhythmic onslaught that warps its way into cold manipulated krautrock and expansive punk bliss. It's unflinchingly expansive, sprawling out in endless directions from the discordant prog of Red-era King Crimson to the sinisterly mechanical discipline of Neu, Blessed take their influences and run wild with them, bringing an art-punk perspective to rigid compositions and letting them explode with brute force and brilliant shifts, pulling out sections only to bring them back with greater force and impact. - Dan Goldin
3. GNARWHAL | "Being Kidding"
It’s amazing the kind of descriptors that get thrown at Gnarwhal. Tagged as post-hardcore, math-rock, and noise at various points, it speaks to the sheer force of Chappy Hull and Tyler Coburn. A song like “Being Kidding” is a perfect encapsulation of these disparate sounds, as it’s built on a guitar riff that seems to have no clear start or end, becoming a hypnotically punishing burst that feels like a rollercoaster ride. When Gnarwhal is at their best—as they certainly are here—they plant their flag atop the mountain of post-hardcore, a space that few others come close to occupying. - David Anthony
4. PART CHIMP | "IV" LP
Part Chimp are back from the dead... and they're dragging through the mud like zombies hungry for brains. It's a miraculous return for one of the UK's best indie leaning sludge bands, and I truly couldn't be happier. IV picks up where Thriller left off way back in 2009, with an array of fuzz thick enough to choke on. Part Chimp are sludgy in a unique way, sounding something like your favorite indie band sucked into a black hole of doom metal. It's paint peeling and intensely primal but also melodic and (relatively) breezy. Part Chimp rip without concern, embracing shout a long anthems, fuzzed out walls of distortion, and skull dragging sludge with equal dexterity. - Dan Goldin
5. GIRLPOOL | "It Gets More Blue"
On Girlpool’s early material, the dual guitar-and-vocal approach of Cleo Tucker and Harmony Tividad was subversive in its simplicity. To make rock music sans drums felt novel, as their rhythmic strumming and harmonizing required such precision it felt as if Girlpool made the world orbit around their lock-step motions. But for its new album the band has invited a drums into the mix, offering a fuller sound that allows the band to explore spaces that were once out of reach. As “It Gets More Blue” shows, Tucker and Tividad are still the driving force, only now able to trade sharp, staccato riffs for giant washes of guitar. Girlpool may be changing, but it’s still got the fearless, adventurous heart that’s been there since the beginning. - David Anthony
6. OPERATOR MUSIC BAND | "EE Unsh"
How do you pronounce "EE Unsh"? What does that mean? What is going on in this music video? The answers to these questions are not important. What is however of the utmost importance is that Operator Music Band's Dara Hirsch has once again made a video that is absolutely stunning in every way. Following last year's brilliant "Bebop Radiohaus" video (our favorite of the year), Operator Music Band have done it again, with Hirsch once again producing a video so immersed in vivd colors, shifting symmetry, precision timing, and well... some pretty awesome cup-related creatures. It's engaging from start to finish as it comes gradually unglued with the chaotic release of the song itself, breaking into blissful noise pop as the video takes a similar shift. Dara and Operator Music Band have done it again and I can't wait to see the next video. - Dan Goldin
7. FLASHER | "Burn Blue"
Where the A-side to Flasher’s latest single “Winnie” was a tense, nervy post-punk track, the B-side shows a hard shift in the Washington D.C. punk trio. “Burn Blue” is colder, dealing less in jittery agitation and focusing instead on how tension builds slowly, feeling unstable and deliberate all at once. It’s a song that moves like a glacier, carrying a massive weight as it slowly shows its direction. There’s still a huge pop hook to be found, but it doesn’t rush to get there. Instead, the song’s impact isn’t truly felt until after it’s over, like a bruise discovered a day or two later, reminding you of the impact you may have ignored initially. - David Anthony
8. NEW FRIES | "Bring The Pressure Washer"
After two wild and spastic videos, New Fries embrace subtlety with "Bring The Pressure Washer," the latest clip from the fantastic More EP. While the song pulses and twitches with bent grooves and stuttering attack, the video moves slowly and gracefully like a still-life painting learning movement for the first time. It's a disorienting juxtaposition paired with the song's thick hypnotic carnage but its mesmerizing in its own simplified way. Sometimes a banana, an egg in water, and a pair of delicately moving hands is all you need when paired together with New Fries' agitated no-wave pop perfection. - Dan Goldin
9. HELLRAZOR | "Covered in Shit"
Though Hellrazor’s excellent Satan Smile album was released in November, the release of the video for “Covered In Shit” is a timely reminder to revisit this slept-on album. The video’s psychedelic imagery is as the track’s bass tone, pounding forward in the same way many of Amphetamine Reptile’s best bands did back in the day. It’s a song that allows Mike Falcone plenty of room space to explore while the rhythm section retains the song’s forward momentum. And it’s the moments where they all snap back together that shows Hellrazor has a mind of their own. - David Anthony
10. VAGABON | "Audiotree Live" Session
I’ve not been shy about my love of Vagabon—both on Twitter and in reviews for other publications—but that doesn’t change the fact that Infinite Worlds is one of the best debut albums I’ve stumbled across in recent memory. At live shows, the trio is a force, taking these already vibrant songs and making them pulse in new ways that can’t help but send goosebumps through your body. The band’s recent stop by Chicago’s Audiotree has yielded a new recording of some of the songs on Infinite Worlds along with a new track called “(No Name).” This song sees Laetitia Tamko alone with a 404 and, in just under two minutes, showing her ability to make intimate compositions into grandiose, soul-shaking works. Whatever is next for Vagabon, I certainly can’t wait. - David Anthony
CHRISTIAN FITNESS "Bees Mode" | OLD MAYBE "Piggity Pink" EP | US WEEKLY "New Obsessions" | JEFF THE BROTHERHOOD "Punishment" | CHAIN & THE GANG "The Logic of Night" | DATENIGHT "It Goes Around" | KENDRICK LAMAR "Damn" LP | CROWN LARKS "Lithops Life" | IGGY POP "Asshole Blues" | ELF POWER "Halloween Out Walking" | ROYA "Scum Rise" | THE BLACK LIPS "Squatting In Heaven" | DANGERDOOM "Mad Nice" (feat. Black Thought & Vinny Price) | THE BLACK ANGELS "Death Song" LP | KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD "Han-Tyumi & The Murder Of The Universe" | PLANET B "Old Age Lasts Too Long" | HOVVDY "In My Head" | THE MAD DOCTORS "No Waves, Just Sharks" LP | XETAS "The Tower" LP | ROYAL TRUX "Sometimes" | DUST FROM 1000 YRS "Smoke 'Em Up" | SHARKMUFFIN "Scully Is A Sharkmuffin" | THE JESUS & MARY CHAIN "Mood Rider" | NAS "Angel Dust" | LASER BACKGROUND "Bright Field" | WATER FROM YOUR EYES "Long Days, No Dreams" LP | GRAPE ROOM "Lesser Broom" | DECISIONS "Plagiarism" EP | CREEPOID "Audiotree Live" Session | WVWHITE "Drag Down" | PEELING "Vulture's Game" | WHITE SUNS "A Year Without Summer" | ERIC SLICK "You Are Not Your Mind" | UBETCHA "The Piss Olympics" LP | NXWORRIES "Scared Money" | CRUSHER "Ends" EP | THE SPOOKFISH "Black Hole" LP | BEAK> "Sex Music" | WHAT TYRANTS "Rainmaker" | CAR SEAT HEADREST "That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore" | HARKIN "Independence Day"