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.
BAPTISTS | "Beacon Of Faith"
Vancouver's Baptists play hardcore music with a sludgy fury, shoveling on loads of filth and noise to complicate their already unrelenting sound. Their third album, Beacon Of Faith, is due out this week on Southern Lord, and the album's title track is a brutal beast of primal hardcore and spastic metal that should appeal to fans of everything from SUMAC and Total Abuse to Oozing Wound and Harvey Milk. The song rips from start to finish, blasting with siren like guitars and Nick Yacyshyn's (also of the aforementioned SUMAC) incredible rhythmic dexterity, absolutely pummeling the kit with an unpredictable barrage of shifting time signatures. While the song never feels overly complicated or progressive, the band tear through sections with a brilliant disregard, leaving a smoldering wake in their path.
BIG UPS | "Two Parts Together" LP
Big Ups’ latest album is like the friend that lightly kicks the back of your knees while your legs are locked in a lovingly mischievous kinda way. They may throw you off center, but its quickly replaced with a smile and a rascally joy. Two Parts Together aims to throw everything off its axis, Big Ups' fine tuned post-hardcore continuing to take new artistic shapes while throwing in more than a few enormous moments of hook-fused catharsis. It's heavy and menacing but introspective and heartfelt, balancing brutality with a sense of humor and stark representations of each member's personalities digging through. It's a dynamic record that also sounds cohesive, a smattering of brilliantly elastic guitars and colossal rhythms. It feels classic, with Two Parts Together serving as the blueprint of punk to come, at least we like to hope so.
LICE | "Little John Waynes"
There's also been something just a bit more snide about noise rock in the UK that has spoken to my sensibilities. In an era where it seems many are content to pull from the Mclusky playbook (and aspects of The Fall's impeccable catalog), there's a new crop of bands over the pond making artistic weirdness and spewing their own venomous sarcasm. Enter LICE, the first band signed to Idles' record label, Balley Records, a band that incorporate a sinister twang into their unhinged freaked out cowboy punk. "Little John Waynes," the first single from the upcoming It All Worked Out Great Vol. 2 is scratchy and scathing, taking a bluesy saunter and dementing it into their own slurred punk chaos. It's brash, noisy, and full of that maniac charm Falco perfected so many years ago. The next generation is arriving, and LICE is a great starting point.
LITHICS | "Edible Door"
For the sake of repeating ourselves, Lithics could just be the best post-punk band of this generation. The Portland quartet's deep sinewy bass lines and whip crack rhythms are always locked in and bouncing over the deadpanned surrealist vocals. Each song hits with a perfect earworm vocal line as doubled guitars dart in and around the hypnotic grooves, the ominous attack between the entranced rumble of the low end. Lithics have absolutely mastered their sound, evident on "Edible Door" and beyond, churning out nimble slits of violent melody in an otherwise dense rhythmic repetition. This one unravels more than the band usually allow, wandering off into their own explosive and dizzying tangents. As the three singles have proven, Mating Surfaces is one of the year's most essential records.
PALBERTA | "Fake-Out"
"Fake-Out" is an infectious track, with a burning intro that would make the Wipers proud. The trio take turns pecking short leads with raw distortion and open space coming together to reinforce each stuttering melody and the thunderous bass warble. It's an incredible framework and by the time the vocals appear nearly half-way through the song's constricted runtime, everything boils into the most gentle madness. With each members voice casually swirling around, they offer immaculate harmonies and divergent paths, layering vocals and interweaving lyrics. It could just be the best Palberta have ever sounded, and that says a lot.
PROTOMARTYR | "Wheel of Fortune" (feat. Kelley Deal)
Old Reliable aka Protomartyr have done it again. Less than a year after the release of their latest full-length (and Domino Records debut), Relatives In Descent, the Detroit quartet are back with a new four song set, the Consolation EP. Picking up where their last record left off, Joe Casey's lyrics continue his poetic sprawl, with a souring look at culture and the depravity caused by it. Joined together with The Breeders' Kelley Deal (whom the band have previously worked with via their split 7" with Deal's R. Ring), "Wheel of Fortune" is a boisterous slow burner, the pair coming together for the refrain, "I decide who lives and who dies". Protomartyr offer a great deal of nuance as the song plods forward, from piercing feedback to stampeding sludge and sharp stabs of distorted guitars. Protomartyr forever.
PUPPY PROBLEMS | "Orange Juice"
For the past few years, Boston's Puppy Problems aka Sami Martasian has been quietly releasing some of the most heart-wrenchingly relatable songs. Dealing with social anxiety, mental exhaustion, and fleeting love, Martasian's songs feel real because they are experiences we've all had, feeling like a lone rain cloud is hovering just above us at all times. While their long awaited full-length debut is still in the works, Martasian and Palehound's Ellen Kempner recorded "Orange Juice" after a trying day, a song filled with Puppy Problem's poetic charm and lo-fi "college rock" fuzz. Singing "if the shoe fits i don't mind walking, if the walk hurts i don't mind stopping" and later "i wanna be someone who puts it together, when they inevitably come undone" it's the sense of holding on at all costs that makes "Orange Juice" such a special sneak peak into the album to come.
TY SEGALL & WHITE FENCE | "Good Boy"
Like peanut butter and jelly, milk and cookies, or apples and pie, Ty Segall and White Fence go well together. The two ultra-prolific musicians' styles most certainly have a degree of garage psych overlap, but when together they take both aspects of their respective sounds and it let run wild. Their first collaborative album, Hair, was released back in 2012, a psych-pop odyssey that leaned further toward retro than their respective catalogs had at that point. Six years (and a world of albums and projects) later, the duo have teamed up again for Joy. The album's first single "Good Boy" is a breezy effort full of texture and pop bliss, cascading drums, and lush acoustics, mixing the band's psych roots with a prog detachment. It's unpredictable and yet easily accessible, a welcome exercise is combining their sounds to create something familiar but ultimately the culmination of their efforts.
ROCK SOLID | "Doing Fine"
Sometimes it's important to remind yourself that things are alright. Rock Solid, the solo project of Brooklyn's Jaime Knoth, has embraced that knowledge at one of life's shakiest moments, the time when you graduate school and enter the "real world." Offering herself a reminder that obstacles are just life's little tests, Knoth's beautiful lyrics and layered vocals compliment her acoustic guitar arrangement. Pulled from an upcoming split cassette with June Gloom (Tall Friend's Jesse Paller), "Doing Fine" is a stark and person reflection that concedes to the fact that even when things are "fine," there's nothing wrong with a little help from those around you. "Doing Fine" is both personal and easily relatable, a swooning representation of fragile feelings and the strength to overcome them to live at your own pace. It's really all too beautiful.
WOOLEN MEN | "Brick Horizon"
One of Portland's finest, Woolen Men are back with a new record, and a reminder that their blend of dusty indie rock and post-punk is as good as it gets. "Brick Horizon," the album's opener is built on a krautrock rhythm, grooving with razor sharp propulsion. The band continue to blend motorik rigidness with twangy fuzz, an offsetting feeling that they've mastered over the years. The vocals add a casually human element to their rumbling onslaught, singing "there's no escaping the rust, surrender to it" void of emotion, but not without feeling. The pulse never shifts, but Woolen Men color it with melodic nuances, pulling elements from garage and folk in equal measure, reshaping their influences into their own widescreen punk. Woolen Men are a national treasure.
APRIL 30TH - MAY 6TH:
APOLLO BROWN & LOCKSMITH "No Question" | BAMBARA "Steel Dust Ocean" | BATHTUB CIG "All Bummer No Summer" | BODEGA "Jack In Titanic" | CARLA BOZULICH "Sha Sha" | EX-VÖID "Boyfriend" | FAITH HEALER "Audiotree Live" | FLOATING ROOM "Seashell" | FRANKIE COSMOS "Apathy" | FRIGS "Audiotree Far Out Session" | GREG ALBERT "Sorry I'm No Fun" EP | GZA "Tiny Desk Concert" | HIGH PONY "Dolphins Cry" | LAWN "My Boy" | LILITH "I'll Come Over" | MASTODON "Clandestiny" | MOMMA "Work" | MONTEAGLE "Desert Rose" | MUTOID MAN "Mutation Breakdown" (Led Zeppelin cover) | NATE TEREPKA "Listen Alone" | NOVA ONE "Your Girl" | NXWORRIES "Lyk Dis" | OLDEN YOLK "Gamblers On A Dime" | OPERATOR MUSIC BAND "Alarmed (BTR Live Session)" | OPTIGANALLY YOURS "Night Shop" | PALBERTA "Cherry Baby" | PARQUET COURTS "Mardi Gras Beads" | THE PLAINVIEWS "Bladerunner" | RENATA ZEIGUER "Paste Studio Session" | SAVAK "Christo's Peers (Soon We'll Be Floating)" | SLOW MASS "Suburban Yellow" | SO STRESSED "Cream & Gold" | SPIT-TAKE "Postcard From (Blank)" | THOU "The House Primordial" LP | TRACE MOUNTAINS "Paste Studio Session" | VIDEO AGE "Lover Surreal" | WELL ROOM "Eyes Wide" | WINDED "Swallowing Hair" | WIRE "French Film Blurred (Demo)" | YONATAN GAT "Cue The Machines" | YOUNG WIDOWS "Checked In/Out"
MAY 7TH TO MAY 13TH:
AMERICAN PLEASURE CLUB "This Is Heaven & I'd Die For It" | ASTRAL SWANS "Strange Prison" LP | THE BODY "I Have Fought Against It, But I Can't Any Longer" LP | BONNY DOON "A Lotta Things" | COURTNEY BARNETT "Sunday Roast" | DEBBIE "The Beach" | DEEPER "Feels" | THE DREEBS "Reese" | FORTH WANDERERS "Not For Me" | GIVING UP "April Showers" | HIT BARGAIN "Potential Maximizer" LP | HONEY BUCKET "Art Of Living" | INDIAN HANDCRAFTS "Reborn" | LA LUZ "Mean Dream" | LAWN "Blood On The Tracks" LP | LENNY ZENITH "What If The Sun" | LUNA HONEY "Evolution" | MARLOWE "Lost Arts" | MUTOID MAN "Keepa Gnawkin" (Little Richard cover) | NEST EGG "DMTIV" | THE PAUSES "Digital Detox" | SHAME "One Rizla" (Later... With Jools Holland) | SIEVE "The Beekeeper" | SLOW MASS "On Watch" LP | SPIRITUAL CRAMP "I Feel Bad Bein' Me" | WAND "Pure Romance" | WEAVES "Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)" (Arcade Fire cover) | YAZAN "Cockroach" (Half Way Home Session) | YAZAN "When I'm Gone" (Half Way Home Session) | YOURS ARE THE ONLY EARS "Knock Hard" LP
MAY 14TH TO MAY 20TH:
ANDERSON .PAAK "Bubblin" | CELL "Rules Of The Game" EP | THE COATHANGERS "Hurricane" | CULTURE ABUSE "Bee Kind To The Bugs" | THE DUE DILIGENCE "Life Is Hard" | DUMB "Barnyard" | EARRING "Flower Every" | FUCKED UP "High Rise" | GIANT PEACH "Vertigo" | GOBBINJR "November 163" | HIGH PONY "Silly Ball" | KATIE PRESTON "The Art of Falling Apart" | LANGUAGE "Plymouth" | LIÉ "Country Boys" | MOURN "Fun At The Geysers" | NEGATIVE SCANNER "Nose Picker" | NINE INCH NAILS "God Break Down The Door" | NOVA ONE "If You Were Mine" | PARLOR WALLS "Love Complex" (Paste Session) | SAM EVIAN "You, Forever" + "Hurricane" | SHILPA RAY "Shoot This Dead Horse" | SNAIL MAIL "Let's Find An Out" | SORRY "Showgirl" | SUUNS "Look No Further" | T. HARDY MORRIS "Homemade Bliss" | UNIFORM & THE BODY "Come And See" | WAX IDOLS "Happy Ending" LP | WIRE "The 15th (Demo)" | YEAH, BABY "Killer Instinct" LP | YOB "Our Raw Heart"