by Dan Goldin (@post_trash_)
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. MILK | "Too High To Drive"
Boston's Milk are set to release their sophomore album Horsetown Threshold on June 2nd, a scattered yet brilliant mix of slacker rock, blistering QOTSA grooves, dusty alt-country, folk, Americana, and fuzzy lo-fi ruminations a la Modest Mouse's early years, all delivered through a distinct New England landscape. The band's grasp on their sound is shaky by decision, folding gentle melodies into chaotic noise without blinking. Lead single “Too High To Drive” is the perfect encapsulation of this, a song that opens with a soothing finger picked melody and twangy resolve that gets periodically demolished with distortion without losing a step. It’s really an impeccable song with a great deal of nuance. By the time the band are headed into the hook you can't help but shout along “if you don’t mind, I don’t mind” with Milk's Matt Brady. There are a lot of layers to unwrap with "Too High To Drive" an exercise well worth your time... no matter how high you might be.
2. OXBOW | "Thin Black Duke" LP
The beauty of Oxbow lies in the band's resolve, their desire to create an unease through texture and sweeping arrangements rather than brute force or harsh noise. The San Francisco based quartet have been perfecting their craft for near three decades and Thin Black Duke, their first studio album in ten years is about as close to a masterpiece as they come. The record lurches through gorgeously orchestrated catharsis and Eugene Robinson's creaky yet commanding howls, built on a grand scale with strings, brass, and delicate sludge. There's plenty of the band's unpredictable progressive shifts and flourishes of experimental jazz, but where those used to come in panicked outbursts that threatened to derail the song's fabric, Oxbow are creating free-form nuance with a natural ebb and flow, supporting the record's grand (and diabolical) gestures. Thin Black Duke is a enormous record of crushing beauty and brilliant carnage, a fully realized expression that unfolds at its own pace, an exploration of applied tension from start to finish.
3. BAD HISTORY MONTH | "Bad History Month" (Boxfish Sessions)
Bad History Month play it loose and casual during a brand new Boxfish Sessions performance. While Sean aka Jeff Meff has been playing solo for several years now, it's a rare occurance to see him play acoustic (and without his one-man band kick and hi-hit drumming), let alone in a festive Hawaiian shirt. It's a real treat indeed. Atmosphere aside, Sean is arguably my favorite songwriter in the world, and his songs work with a profound deepness, the kind that turns the less enviable qualities of life into something more bearable, a unique look deep into the empty void from the outer edges, close enough to fall in but just clinging to existence instead. "Bad History Month," one of many stand-outs from the former duo Fat History Month's final album of the same name, sounds as alive and vibrant as ever as Sean's ability to warp from the original's ramshackle art-punk to a sound closer to folk music is truly stunning. The only artist to continually give me goosebumps and knots in my stomach, Bad History Month is a rare breed of songwriter and we patiently await his next record.
4. TAIWAN HOUSING PROJECT | "Veblen Death Mask" LP
The joy of discovering new music is what keeps me going. It's the life blood behind a site like Post-Trash. It was about three weeks back when I first heard Philadelphia's Taiwan Housing Project and their album Veblen Death Mask, a record that instantly transformed my otherwise shitty day into one of jittery excitement, an album primed on squalor and so vehemently raw it put a grin on my face. In the band's Ian Svenonious penned bio he says they began "as a experiment in perversity," an idea that may have been refined over the years but certainly doesn't wane. The band's intense love for no-wave, experimental noise punk, and caterwauling post-punk takes a familiar pop shape, but it's about as abrasive as "pop" gets. Taiwan Housing Project thrive at their filthiest, building atonal walls of brutal noise and punishing distortion, but they do it over a steady beat, a locked in groove, and generally common structures. This is experimental noise rock carrying the flag for the deranged upheaval of decency, but the band's focus remains rooted in songwriting, a truly damaged record of chaotic pop glory.
5. THE COATHANGERS | "Captain's Dead"
When The Coathangers started a decade ago I'm not sure even they would have believed themselves to be one of this generation's best garage rock bands, but album after album and tour after non-stop tour they have pushed ever closer to that reality. Parasite, the LA via Atlanta band's new EP may be brief, but it's another assuredly confident record that combines their penchant for garage scorn, fuzzy pop, and aggressively sweet melodies. The video for "Captain's Dead" (a song that is The Coathangers at their catchiest) captures the band's dark sense of fun with campy images of goth cheerleaders, a (sorta creepy) toy dummy, and some large knives... The band told Paste Magazine that the video "feels a bit like a feverish nightmare… a hex on assholes."
6. BIG WALNUTS YONDER | "Big Walnuts Yonder" LP
Big Walnuts Yonder are here to give a big fuck you to the idea of the "supergroup". The term itself sets the stage for disappointment. No one likes a "supergroup". Expectations to re-create the work of the members' individual project weighs heavy amid the forbidden tag, inviting a closed-mindedness when it comes to seeing just what a handful of exceptional musicians are capable of outside their better known bands. On Big Walnuts Yonder's long gestating debut album, the band shatter all preconceived notions, creating a magical collision of their individual contributions by functioning in experimental synchronicity. The renowned and impeccably diverse talents of Mike Watt (Minutemen), Nick Reinhardt (Tera Melos), Greg Saunier (Deerhoof), and Nels Cline (Wilco) work together to create something that is primarily unlike the work they're known for, blurring boundaries and pushing one another's creative impulses to create something loose, ill defined, and utterly astonishing. Years of wondering what this album might sound like has given way to one definitive answer... whatever they want it to.
7. PALLAS | "Render (Location 13)"
Atlanta's Pallas are getting ready to release their self-titled debut album on May 26th via one of our favorite up-and-coming labels Drop Medium Records (Datenight, Pucker Up, The Craters) with "Render (Location 13)," the album's first single. The young Atlanta post-punk quartet have created a unique and challenging mini-album that shows the band’s strength in manipulated repetition and abrasive rhythmic shifts. Led by Danielle Brutto’s sharp and sinister howls, there’s a cold sense of calculated chaos throughout the band’s swerving punk movements, a sound that is tightly wound and rhythmically jarring. "Render" is a dense introduction to the band, a compact song that finds the guitar lines stabbing their way between the brilliant tempo shifting syncopation and the explosive drum fills. The song's rapid pacing and short run time make this one "a must repeat," a song that demands close attention to the band's interwoven post-punk as it wraps itself around a centralized groove only to pull it apart in disparate directions.
8. DAMAGED BUG | "Bog Dash"
Damaged Bug's third album Bunker Funk remains one of our favorite releases this year, an unexpected and freakily devolved post-punk record built on hyper active synths and psychedelic sprawl. The record's infectious and rhythmically blessed single "Bog Dash" now has an interactive video, so let your mind and eyes wander together through the trippy landscapes of the bog... or whatever dimension of reality we're led into. It's a choose-your-own-adventure like never before with a world of warm 3D-like technicolor wonder created by Vinyl Williams, the perfect mind expanding activity to rattle your senses together with John Dwyer's bugged out solo project.
GNARWHAL "Crucial" LP | TAIWAN HOUSING PROJECT "Veblen Death Mask" | J. ZUNZ "Silente" LP | BIG FRENCH "Apartments for the West" | GOBBINJR "Vom Night" | AT THE DRIVE-IN "Pendulum In A Peasant Dress" | GLUED "Eyes Forward" | KALEIDOSCOPE "Volume 3" EP | BUILDINGS "You Are Not One Of Us" LP | MOUNTAIN MOVERS "Mountain Movers" LP | US WEEKLY "US Weekly" LP | BLACK LIPS "Occidental Front" | BLACK LIPS "Can't Hold On" | JASON LOEWENSTEIN "Superstitious" | JULIAN "Drawn 2" | OPTIONS "Pacific Notion I" EP | JOEY AGRESTA "I Won't Give Up" (feat. Palberta) | KERO KERO BONITO "Fish Bowl (Frankie Cosmos Remix)" | VUNDABAR "Audiotree Session" EP | PILL "Speaking Up" | LITTLER "Running Hot" | SHARKMUFFIN "Leather Gloves" | MUTOID MAN "Kiss of Death" | B BOYS "Walking" | ULTIMATE PAINTING "Why Do You Please Me? (Demo)" | STEADY LEAN "Bandages / Some Better Somethin'" | THE I.L.Y's "I Love You Man" | CROWN LARKS "React" | PALBERTA "She Feels That Way" | ELLIOTT SMITH "Pretty (Ugly Before)" (Live at Largo) | FITS "Ice Cream on a Nice Day" (Boxfish Sessions) | THE SEA LIFE "Blame" | WHITE PISCES "Tummy" | IDLE BLOOM "Seeker" | DIMPLES "Chains of Shame" | PEELING "Away From You" | FRIED EGG "Back and Forth" EP | ELDER "The Falling Veil" | BEACH FOSSILS "Down The Line" | DU VIDE "Comfort" | GOLD DIME "Easy" | BLUSH "Drone" | THE AFGHAN WHIGS "In Spades" LP | SNAKE BOY GANG "Roller Coaster" | (SANDY) ALEX G "Sportstar / Brick"