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. SWIM TEAM | "Reanimator"
In celebration of Swim Team's self-titled album's re-release, the band are sharing a video for one of the record's many highlights, "Reanimator," a love song gone wrong with a tempo that shifts as the song's mood dips and surges. Lillian Currens' vocal contortions are front and center, shouting over the sparse rhythms and caterwauling guitars, bending from melodic to fiery shouts without warning. The video captures the band engaging in a bit of suburban malaise out in the woods... there are hatchets, bondage masks, baseball bats set on fire, derelict cars, and a creepy clown, because well... it's the woods. It's destructive and cathartic without reason, just four friends having fun throwing an axe around on a nice day... much like Swim Team's music, the carnage of the video is balanced by the a scuzzy beauty and vivid colors.
2. NOPES | "Fun Limbo" EP
Last year Oakland punks Nopes released Never Heard Of It, a blown out album that combined hardcore, noise rock, and garage punk into their own chaotic lo-fi sound. Full of shredding guitars and Alex Petralia's demented howl, Nopes stood out from the pack by embracing diversity with a sound they're calling "weird core". The band are back with Fun Limbo, a new 7" EP built on a menacing mix of sludge, deranged pop, and violent punk. If the record's first two singles "Shedding" and "Steady" highlighted the capable madness and explorative nature of their last album, the EP as a whole is all clawing ferocity. It's not all carnage and chaos though, songs like "Midnight Parking Lot" and "Contemporary Listening" slow it down, building tension with morbid melodies and slithering guitar lines. Barked out vocals are driven through foggy distortion as the band slurs their hypnotic grooves into something slower but equally filthy.
3. COOL GHOULS | "(If I Can't Be) The Man"
San Francisco's Cool Ghouls released their latest album, Animal Races, last Summer and have since been out on the road across the country in support of the tour-only Gord's Horse cassette (featuring the exceptional title track). There's still life yet in Animal Races though as the video for "(If I Can't Be) The Man" proves this week. The clip finds a group of clowns (aka the Cool Ghouls themselves) just clowning around, enjoying a nice day in the park with a few beers, an excitable pup, and some old fashioned fun. It's a striking and goofy visual for the song's twangy weariness, a story that ends in tragedy as the band's dusty Americana drifts into the clouds.
4. WICCANS | "Under The Sun"
We described "Automaton," the first single from Wiccans' new album, Sailing A Crazy Ship, saying "it's ugly as it gets in the best of ways with guitars that fell like the equivalent of stadium-hardcore," using the non-genre descriptor to highlight the band's own sordid blend of big stadium rock friendly solos and classic riffs with their own deranged hardcore. "Under The Sun" continues on in that tradition, pairing unfriendly howls and corrosive distortion with some seriously shreddy riffs that combine the sludge and doom of metal with the band's down tuned hardcore angst and dirt soiled melodies. It's quick and to the point, with nuances burn and fade in a moments time, so be sure to turn it up and let it rip for two minutes of weirdo hardcore perfection.
5. DASHER | "Sodium"
Dasher are making up for lost time on their upcoming album Sodium. After three years (and one scrapped album) of waiting, the now Bloomington based trio have come unleashed and the fury is infectious. "Sodium," the second single from the album is all post-hardcore glory, full of vocal chord shattering menace, ringing guitars, blistering aggression, and well... talk of ramen noodles, salt, and sodium. The guitars build an impenetrable wall of sound, dense and impressively chaotic, melting the flesh straight from your skull. Vocalist/drummer Kylee Kimbrough sound positively unhinged, screaming out into the void with a boiling fury that curdles all hope.
6. CRUMB | "Plants"
Crumb's mix of jazzy rhythms and stunning grooves is bright, unpredictable, and well developed. Quickly becoming one of the East Coast's more exciting new bands, the quartet are set to release Locket, their sophomore EP next month. First single "Plants" picks up where last year's self-titled debut left off, sweeping together soul, jazz, psych pop, R&B, funk, and a hint of post-hardcore dexterity into something that's free and breezy, unfeathered by any genre limitations. As Crumb gently twist and turn their way from one movement to another, Lila Ramani’s gorgeous vocals keep a dreamy cool, blending whimsical lyrics of (literally) baked metaphors and indie-jazz fusion of the most beautiful variety.
7. WATER FROM YOUR EYES | "III" EP
It's only been a month since the release of their last album, but Water From Your Eyes are back with III, a stunning EP collecting two expansive new songs and a reimagined version of a Long Days, No Dreams highlight. Each song offers a different side to the Water From Your Eyes puzzle, highlighting the duo's creative spark and borderless exploration. "I'll Be," the opening track on their new EP is as patient as they come. The song opens with a slow drifting atmosphere of guitars and keys, a light fog that fills the room with a warm glow and Rachel Brown's hauntingly beautiful voice. "Make Her No One (Take 2)" bounces to life with a nimble and hypnotic rhythm, replacing the original's acoustic beauty with a wild jungle beat that thrives on repetition. "Can't Hold Me, Gravity" takes the band's occasional post-punk qualities and lets them run wild. The song skronks with disorienting beeps and big distorted bass, painting a dangerous and sordid dystopia. Brown's voice is a stunning as ever, radiating against the backdrop with a fuzzy pop bliss, singing gently without a care as the ringing swirls, drops out, and swirls again around them. Water From Your Eyes are an undefinable project built on the mutual understanding of two great musicians, deeply in-tune, but willfully detached.
TWO INCH ASTRONAUT "Can You Please Not Help" LP | GLAND "Dropout" | BIG FRENCH "Hey Grandma" | SUSPIRIANS "Moonwave" | INSTITUTE "Exhibitionism" | DOWNTOWN BOYS "A Wall" | STAFFERS "Torn Between Two Loves" LP | CHASTITY BELT "I Used To Spend So Much Time Alone" LP | EX-CULT "Double Hits" | JOEY AGRESTA "I Didn't Do For You" | THOMAS QUINTTUS "Tommy's Buncha Song" | THE PEACERS "Black Fences" | AMY O "Lavender Night" | THE BLACK ANGELS "Currency" | CAMORRA "Roosevelt Champion III" | AMERICAN LIPS "Beyond The 7-11" | CRAG MASK "Loom" LP | THE SEA LIFE "The Sea Life" LP | ABOUT A MILLION "Wakin' Me Up" | DARK TEA "Dark Tea" EP | SAINTES "Melancholia" | SWOON LAKE "Swoon Lake" EP | ORGANIZED NOIZE "We The Ones" (feat. Big Boi, Cee-lo & Big Rube) | EXOTICA "Musique Exotique #02" EP | PINK FROST "Avian" | GOLD DIME "All We Have To Be Thankful For" | SINGLE MOTHERS "Leash" | WHITE SUNS "Pilgrim"