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. MILKED | "Death On Mars"
Milked is your sleeper hit of the summer. It's not time for sleeping though as Kelly Johnson (formerly of the criminally underrated Geronimo!) returns to deliver a stunning smash hit of an album from his new project (which also includes the rest of Geronimo! in its live form). These songs seep way down into your subconscious as Johnson's incredible guitar playing and deceptive melodies tangle into sticky fuzz pop glory you'll be singing in your head for the next week. "Death On Mars," the album's title track is as catchy as they come, an outer-stellar love song for the end of times. Milked is good for you, Milked is important. Milked have all the riffs.
2. OH SEES | "The Static God"
Formality is dead. Forget the Thee. Oh Sees it is. Now that we've gotten that taken care of, John Dwyer and co. are back with a new record called Orc, and the first single is an absolute ripper, even by their standards. Picking up where last year's A Weird Exits left off, the band sound absolutely explosive on "The Static God," an unwieldy avalanche of demented post-punk that races from section to section with berzerker riffs and those glorious double drums. Consider this among our most anticipated albums of the summer.
3. PILE | "Audiotree Live" Session
There's not a great deal that needs to be said about this one. It's Pile, one of the greatest live bands of our time, live in the Audiotree studio, ripping through some of A Hairshirt of Purpose's finest tracks like the season professionals they are. Truth be told, it doesn't get a lot better. Audiotree have done well too, capturing the indescribable intensity of Pile in bursts of aggression, winding art rock bliss, and that haunting calm before the storm. Trends come and go, but Pile is forever.
4. DOVE LADY | "7777"
The time has come. Dove Lady, DC's hottest indie freak duo, will release their long awaited (at least in these circles) full length debut, conveniently titled One (following EPs, A, B, C, and D) this summer via Inflated Records and DZ Tapes. For those unfamiliar with the band, Dove Lady make post-hardcore for that glorious cross-section of weirdo punks and sad kids that dig jazz... a rare yet damn fine breed. On "7777" the duo's wild structures swerve in just about every direction, exploring the limits of melodic chaos. The song opens with hard-nosed post-hardcore that would feel at home in the Dischord catalog, before warping it's way into freer pastures, swirling together psych pop haze and sinewy aggression with sharp clarity. It really is something to behold... so go on and behold it.
5. TALL FRIEND | "Oats"
Tall Friend understand that sometimes the best route is to simply maintain grace. To persevere despite adversity, especially when the struggle derives from home, isn't an easy task and well, sometime you need to rest. "Oats," the first single from the band's full length debut Safely Nobody's is a great representation of this, a song delivered with Charlie Pfaff's complacent tonality, warm vocals, and the band's tightly wound instrumentals. It's a simple song that comes from a life spent looking forward, "Oats" is dazzling, warm, and utterly radiant.
6. SHE KEEPS BEES | "Head of Steak"
She Keeps Bees are doing their part to help fight against "the president" in the form of a new charity driven 7" single, Our Bodies b/w Head Of Steak, set to benefit both Planned Parenthood and Earth Justice. While the circumstances that require such songs to be written are about as far from ideal as can be, the duo sound fired up about the environment and those who seek to destroy it in the name of money. Jessica Larrabee's lyrics are scorned and pointed, anxiously singing, "you deal in snake oil, poison our water for a fucking dollar". The song is classic She Keeps Bees in every way, from the minimal dirge of the guitar and drums to Larrabee's undeniably soulful voice, it's a powerful song that genuinely needs to be heard.
7. ALVVAYS | "In Undertow"
I was late to the party, but I truly believe Alvvays' self-titled album is flawless. There's just something so special about those slightly dusted fuzz-pop songs that infinitely re-playable and wildly infectious... which is all to say, it's going to be tough to follow-up. Three years later, the Toronto quartet are back with a new record, Antisocialites, and the first single "In Undertow" seems to recapture the magic of their debut with grainy fuzz, yearning noise pop, and Molly Rankin's dazzling melodic focus. You can't always believe the hype, and then again, sometimes you can.
8. WEEPING ICON | "Jail Billz"
The fury is real for Weeping Icon and their new single "Jail Billz," a song that puts all cat-calling scum on blast over scuzzy distortion and brutal noise punk. It's heavy, rich in textured walls of guitar noise, and it's unapologetic in the best of ways, because fuck the predators out there, Weeping Icon won't stand for your bullshit. Storming through the dense seas of noise, the quartet come out swinging, shouting "If you touch me and I have to fight you, you’re paying for my jail bills" before roaring back "i'm not afraid of you". Putting the "miss" back in misdemeanor, Weeping Icon's debut EP, Eyeball Under, could just be the noise your summer needs.
9. TUNIC | "Eye Contact"
The Winnipeg trio are set to release their latest EP, Boss, a corrosive and volatile record that takes the best moments of Metz and The Jesus Lizard and works them into their own artistic brilliance. Loud, aggressive, and often punishing, Tunic thrive on chaos, feedback, and manic bursts of slurred shouting. Lead single “Eye Contact” is a welcome intro, a big grooving blast of gloriously disgusting noise punk energy. The slow motion video is both captivating, mundane, and a bit gross, a nod to the band’s deviant charm. It’s dark and unrelenting but the rhythm section’s hypnotic boogie is impossible to resist.
10. GLAND | "Is A Conspiracy" EP
After last year's fiery garage punk debut, Neurotica, the New Orleans quartet are back with Is A Conspiracy, another vibrant collection of hyper-agitated, raw, lo-fi punk. Gland's love for minimalist post-punk and garage rock sparsity leaves plenty of room for the band to get their message across, railing against society's pre-determined norms. With themes on the importance of self-love ("The Velvet Glove of Self Love") and the freedom to do what you find significant ("Dropout"), Is A Conspiracy is a riotous celebration of the ability to be yourself at all costs.
These were two particularly strong weeks which also happened to be two of the busiest weeks of my life (was out of the country, started a new job, still working the old job, Northside, etc... It doesn't really matter), but I'd be remiss not to include a few more selections as both of these weeks really deserved a "Top 10" of their own. So in two sentences or less, we continue with some more essentials:
11. PALEHOUND | "A Place I'll Always Go" LP
The new Palehound album is stunning and complex, shifting directions throughout while relying on Ellen Kempner's beautiful songwriting. Stream it at NPR.
12. COOL GHOULS | "Gord's Horse" EP
Surprise! Cool Ghouls' tour only cassette has made it's way to the internet now that their tour is over, and it's a great listen to twangy psych and dusty garage pop.
13. DALE CROVER | "Little Brother"
Melvins drummer extraordinaire Dale Crover is set to release his full length solo debut and much like his contribution to those Melvins solo EPs all those years ago, it's lush and melodic with a Melvins vibe lurking just beneath the pop splendor.
14. RADIOHEAD | "I Promise"
Radiohead... you've heard of them. I'm sure of it. I can't help but notice that both of the B-sides released so far from the OK Computer sessions sound like they could have been on The Bends, and I'm into it.
15. MILK | "Horsetown Threshold" LP
The band's album shows an eclectic vision of their indie rock and New England bred Americana, blurring the lines between country twang and slacker rock, forming their own sound that’s organic and free.
16. GUERILLA TOSS | "Betty Dreams of Green Men"
Guerilla Toss writing a song about alien encounters... need I say more? Hypnotic funk with experimental rhythms and catchy vocals, it's GToss' own twisted sun-soaked pop perfection.
17. WICCANS | "Sailing A Crazy Ship" LP
Filthy hardcore anit-heroes Wiccans' third full length is as blistering and demented as ever, an unapologetic tornado of explosive riffs, shredding solos, and the shouts of a charismatic lunatic.
18. TURNIP KING | "Drive 2 Meet U" EP
Turnip King's Drive 2 Meet U came without warning, a surprise EP that expands on the New York band's limitless creativity through progressive pop, shoegaze, electronic meditations, and as all the experimental weirdness you've come to love from the quartet.
19. BLACK BEACH | "Poor Posture"
Boston's most blown-out punks Black Beach and Nice Guys came together for a split 7" of garage rock at it's most corrosive. Black Beach's "Poor Posture" relies on harsh deviant grunge and snide noise punk as they dig into the distortion.
20. CAN | "Shikaku Maru Ten"
The legendary Can are set to release their first "singles" compilation, compiling all the a-sides and b-sides from their historic catalog, both rarities and undeniable classics. "Shikako Maru Ten" is the b-side from the band's "Spoon" single.
MANNEQUIN PUSSY "Pledge" | VAGABON "Fear & Force" | NOTS "Violence" | SUSPIRIANS "Black Holes" | SADIE DUPUIS "Meat of Contract (Speedy Ortiz demo)" | CELL "Demo 7" EP" | CHASTITY BELT "Dull" | SPIT "Ego In Drag" | RAYS "Theater of Lunacy" | WET HAIR "Endless Procession" | POPPIES "Dumb Advice" | JASON LOEWENSTEIN "Machinery" | MICHAEL BEACH "I Never Had Enough Time With You" | KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD "The Lord of Lightning Vs Balrog" | A GIANT DOG "Photograph" | PAT KEEN "Albatross" LP | SUPER THIEF "Books w/ No Pages" | MUTOID MAN "War Moans" LP | BIG THIEF "Mary" | PEELING "Wandering Womb" | ULRIKA SPACEK "Modern English Decoration" LP | RATBOYS "Westside" | BLOODCLOT "Kali" | SPECTRE FOLK "Blowing Tornadoes" | WREN KITZ "Dancing on Soda Lake" LP
LEXIE "Record Time!" LP | DAVID NANCE "River With No Color" | THE SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE "Pianos, Heavy Instrument / Snow On The Moon" | NICE GUYS "Grodelo" | B BOYS "Discipline" | SUSPIRIANS "Ti Bon Ange" LP | PILL "Piña Queen" | BIG BOI "In The South" (feat. Pimp C & Gucci Mane) | THELMA "Peach" | DION LUNADON "Dion Lunadon" LP | THE ALCHEMIST & BUDGIE "Brother Jedidiah" (feat. Action Bronson & Big Body Bess) | JAPANESE BREAKFAST "Boyish" | BUCK GOOTER "Apocalypse Me" | SHEER MAG "Need To Feel Your Love" | BIG THIEF "Capacity" LP | TUNDRASTOMPER "O Translucent Animal" | COUCH SLUT "Funeral Dyke" | SLEEPY SUN "Private Tales" LP | ROYAL TRUX "Platinum Tips + Ice Cream" LP | JACK COOPER "North of Anywhere" | AMERICAN LIPS "Definition" | GAYTHEIST "Let's Get Astrophysical" | ROZWELL KID "Wendy's Trash Can" | GREAT GRANDPA "Expert Eraser" | MUTOID MAN "Date With The Devil" | JASON LOEWENSTEIN "Spooky Action" LP | DEATH FROM ABOVE "Freeze Me" | MARDOU "June" | DRUG CHURCH "Audiotree Session" | RESIDUELS "You'll Cry" | IMAAD WASIF "Carry The Scar" | PJ HARVEY & RAMY ESSAM "The Camp" | POPPIES "Good EP" | TEENANGER "It Works With My Body" | RIDE "Lannoy Point" | MOGWAI "Coolverine"