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 list is in alphabetical order and we sincerely recommend checking out all the music we've 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 top-notch quality too.
BIG UPS | "PPP"
Welcome the return of Brooklyn's favorite post-hardcore band, even if they are reluctant on the genre tag. Big Ups have been expanding their sound since their college years, gradually shifting from a ruthless punk band into the artistic and experimental quartet they've established themselves as over the past few years. Pushing the boundaries of their sound while remaining scathing and lyrically propulsive, "PPP" takes on a fractured image of the predicted future, a notion that what is seen in the crystal bar could be split into shards at any time. With an absolutely ripping guitar riff that bounces between crushing and nimble, hand-clap assisted rhythms, and a grooving bass line, Big Ups continue to prove just why they've earned the reputation as one of the city's most explosive bands.
CRUMB | "Locket"
In case you haven't caught the *buzz* yet, there's pretty much nothing Crumb can't do. The New York based quartet's sound is jaw-dropping more often than not, combining jazz and R&B inflections with psych and pop in a technical way that never really feels too technical. Everything is natural, everything is one, and everything is pretty damn incredible. This sense is picked up upon in the tripped out "Locket" music video, a 360 degree voyage into their psychedelic state of being. Much like the visions of the clip, the band play with reality and perception on the title track to their most recent EP, drifting between segments with experimental fluidity and grand gestures alike.
DOLLAR BAND | "Too Sensitive"
The good folks at Wharf Cat Records are putting together the ACLU Benefit Compilation, an LP/CD featuring 22 different bands including (but not limited to) The Sediment Club, Weeping Icon, Palberta, Psychic Blood, The Men, Merchandise, Snakehole, Old Maybe, and beyond. Nearly everything that went into making the album (including pressing costs) were donated and the label are able to give an incredible $30 per album sold to the ACLU. The album's opening track comes from Dollar Band, an off-shoot of Post-Trash favorites Gun Outfit. Led by Dylan Sharp (guitar/vocals), the band mine a similar smokey Americana as their main outfit, but "Too Sensitive" is a bit looser, a tad more "rock 'n' roll," and certainly more political, at least in this instance.
FLASHER | "Skim Milk"
Ahead of the band's Domino Records debut, Flasher return with "Skim Milk," a song that's anything but skim milk. Occupying a space somewhere between post-punk, shoegaze, and alternative radio friendly rock, the trio rally against expected futures in favor of a leap into the unknown, moving forward without expectation and concern for what might be. Sounding tight as ever, the band keep a minimal landscape that throws punches more often that not, a quick jab of rumbling bass and vocals that dart back and forth between cool and agitated deliveries. Balancing their locked in churn with a spirited attitude, "Skim Milk" bursts beyond the hypnotic chug into a controlled chaos, free and focused with a touch of primal instinct.
LA LUZ | "California Finally"
The second single from La Luz's new album finds the quartet at their best, paying homage to their new-found home state and it's "weird golden paradise". Having moved from Seattle, the drastic change in sunshine is fitting for La Luz, whose breezy surf pop and post-punk noir songs tend to shimmer with a brightened sensibility. The slow dripped vocal melodies work against a reverb-assisted groove, wavering like a mirage as the harmonies tighten at the song's infectious hook. The band dig deep into the surfy guitars, offering a wired psychedelic vibe, driven by the radiance of the natural elements greeting them with each passing Los Angeles day. Arguably the best at what they do, La Luz are able to capture a tight and sophisticated sound that's both retro and nuanced, their own inescapable hold on surf rock both stunning and seedy.
LITHICS | "Excuse Generator"
"Excuse Generator" cracks open with a sharp guitar riff that works in opposition to the ultra tight rhythm, it's perfectly coiled and ragged. Lithics work with jagged elements at their most fluid, the type of post-punk that will have your head bobbing or find you checking your pulse to make sure you're still alive. A quick barrage of shifting hypnotic grooves lay the perfect framework for Aubrey Hornor’s unshakeable vocals and lyrics as she asks, "Can I be myself? Can I talk to her? Can I see my dog?" Devolving into moments of pure discordant bliss, Lithics always snap right back into place. There's no one that does it quite as well as they do, digging into a whirlwind of perfectly mangled post-punk brilliance.
MIKE DONOVAN | "Spiral Tee Shirt"
In the last edition of Fuzzy Meadows, I wrote about "Sadfinger," the first single from Mike Donovan's latest upcoming album and while I like to diversify this column with different artists from week to week, the absence of coverage around this record has motivated me to feature How To Get Your Record Played In Shops' second single "Spiral Tee Shirt," a fantastic song that further seems to prove that Donovan is getting better with age. While he built his audience with the highly praised Sic Alps, his recent output between The Peacers and his latest solo record are among the best work he's released to date and has converted me from a casual fan to a fairly obsessive one. "Spiral Tee Shirt" opens with a rock 'n' roll boogie that would make Hendrix proud, a stop/start blues riff and distant piano set the tone, a rollicking stomper with a detached low end and vocals that soar in bursts, levitating over the jangle with the greatest of ease.
OPTIGANALLY YOURS | "Whomever Watches You Sleep"
Joyful Noise Recordings are back with another year of their "Artist in Residence" project, an immersive year long look into the many sides of an artist and their output. This year features none other than Rob Crow, a musician who has built an incredible catalog, splitting his creative energy between bands like Pinback, Thingy, Heavy Vegetable, Goblin Cock, Anal Trump, his solo material, and so much more. Set to include over 300 minutes of new music, the whole thing begins with the return of Crow's Optiganally Yours, a project that has been dormant for eighteen years. "Whomever Watches You Sleep" sounds both like the band's early output, still based around the loops of the Optigan (naturally), and with a new vibrant production quality that gives it a modern sheen. The whole song sounds a bit like Rob Crow waxing poetic over a MIDI funhouse score, lush and sweeping, sincere and hypnotic. Long live the Optigan.
TUNDRASTOMPER | "Clean It Up" EP
It's been less than a year since O's summer release, but Tundrastomper are back with another mind-expanding record, the caustic Clean It Up EP. Tagged "#weirdpunk" by the label, their latest is a jaw-dropping set of unpredictable fury, a storm of flailing notes and spastic rhythms that draw as much from prog as they do post-hardcore, math rock, and no-wave. These songs don't so much unfold as they ignite. From the first shuffling moments of album opener "Sweet Baby Boy" to the close of "Patch It Up," the band opt out of playing it "cool," instead indulging the listener (and themselves) with a blizzard of convulsing rhythms and guitars that cut directly through the tangled splendor. Sonic freakouts abound, and every song takes its own approach to their madness.
YAZAN | "Cockroach"
"Cockroach," the first single from Yazan's new album, Hahaha, is a wild ride of emotions, soul, and a finding the light in the darkness. Built on finger picked melodies and Kris Kuss' shuffling rhythms, Yazan lays waste to the twang with the strength of his voice, bending both sludge and beauty at whim under his powerful howl. The lyrics, a simple meditation about a cockroach helping Yazan to find the darkness in his heart and the ability to fix that through personal betterment, really hits on a lot of levels, and I can't help but get chills every time he sings "too ugly to live, but too young to die, I'd like to leave you alone and forget you're alive". This is without a doubt one of my favorite songs in recent memory.
february 26 - march 04
TWICE EYES "Twice Eyes" EP | ILSA "Corpse Fortress" LP | SHAME "Lampoon" | A PLACE TO BURY STRANGERS "There's Only One Of Us" | ICEAGE "Pain Killer" (feat. Sky Ferreira) | DINOSAUR JR "Hold Unknown" | FRANKIE COSMOS "Apathy" | TRACE MOUNTAINS "Salty Sweet" | ONEIDA "It Was Me" | SHOPPING "Suddenly Gone" | COLD MEAT "Maternity Stomp" | BODEGA "How Did This Happen?!" | PARIUH "Quad" | JIMI HENDRIX "Both Sides Of The Sky" LP | AMA "Love Demons" | CHRIS CORNELL "You Never Knew My Mind" (Johnny Cash cover) | CONNECTIONS "Low Low Low" | DR. OCTAGON "Area 54" | JACK "Alchemical Rounds" LP | MYTHLESS "Statue" | WAND "The Gift" | THE BLACK ANGELS "Half Believing" | FOLLIES "Still Life" | ERIC SCHERMERHORN "Elegy" | DREAMEND "Falling" | SNOB "Snob" LP | BLOODY KNIVES "New Machines" | ANMLPLNET "I Was Fucked By A Cloud" | GOLDEN DRAG "Aphex Jim" | GIRL RAY "The Way We Came Back" | NAP EYES "I'm Bad Now" LP | JEAN GRAE & QUELLE CHRIS "Gold Purple Orange" | RAHEEM DEVAUGHN & THE CRANK CRUSADERS "Skywalker (The Go-Go Beat Jack)" | VILE CREATURE "Cast Of Static and Smoke" LP | GANG OF FOUR "Lucky" | YO LA TENGO "For You Too" | DEAD MEADOW "Nobody Home" | THE LOVE-BIRDS "Hit My Head" | GIA GREENE "Unexpected Guest" | OCEANATOR "Mistakes" | KING TUFF "Raindrop Blues" | CAVERN OF ANTI-MATTER "Phase Modulation Shuffle" | VUNDABAR "Stereogum Session" | ALICE COHEN "Hourglass" | HAH. "All Your Bad Habits Talks Behind Your Back" LP | KRISTIAN NORTH "Artworks"
March 05 - March 11
KAL MARKS "Loosed" | SHELL OF A SHELL "Already There" EP | HOT SNAKES "Jericho Sirens" LP | HANK WOOD AND THE HAMMERHEADS "Hank Wood And The Hammerheads" LP | GLUED "Travis" | SHARK TOYS "Maze" | BIG K.R.I.T. "Tiny Desk Session" | STAY ASLEEP "Quality Metric" | FORTH WANDERERS "Nevermine" | ED SCHRADER'S MUSIC BEAT "Riddles" | STEF CHURA "Degrees" | GUIDED BY VOICES "Space Gun" LP | LITTLEFOOT "Casablanca" | BAD BREEDING "Abandonment" | SICK SHIT "Thick Spit" EP | YOURS ARE THE ONLY EARS "Seeds" | THICK "Bleeding" | BRNDA "House Show" | HOSPITAL SHIPS "We Are The Dead" (David Bowie cover) | THE ARMED "Role Models" | RAZORBUMPS "Make Your Mark" | MIEN "Earth Room" | SLOW MASS "Blocks" | FLOATING ROOM "Paper Cuts" | THE BLACK LIPS & THE KHAN FAMILY "Too Much In Love" | LIFE IN VACUUM "Apartment" | THE CHANNELS "See No Reason" | BLONDE MOM "New Brute" LP | PARQUET COURTS "Wide Awake" | ILLUMINATI HOTTIES "Cuff" | THE MESSTHETICS "Quantum Path" | RICHARD ALBUM "Storm Troopers" | A BEACON SCHOOL "I Don't Believe It" | SPY IN THE SKY "My Sunshine" | YONATAN GAT "Cockfight" | QUEEN OF JEANS "U R My Guy" | PALEHOUND "Jam In The Van Session" | SLOPPY JANE "Potassium" | SUPERCHUNK "Cloud Of Hate" | ERICA ESO "House That's Always Burning" | MOUNT EERIE "Now Only" LP | DROWSE "Cold Air" LP | WAX IDOLS "Scream" | ACID DAD "Acid Dad" LP | NO JOY / SONIC BOOM "Slorb"