Long Beach's Struckout are getting ready to release their third album on July 20th, a self-titled record, out via Postmark Records. The record is a barn burning piece of post-hardcore glory, fueled by jagged guitars and spastic rhythms. They've shared recent the album's first single,"Queer Shit," a song bassist/vocalist Daniel Speer told Decibel was about "the awkward, messy way I came out to my friends and family." Today they are sharing with us an exclusive playlist with each member picking five songs.
See what Struckout had to say about their recent listening habits and give the playlist a stream below.
Just Friends - "Nothing But Love" (from the album Nothing But Love)
James Goldmann (percussion): First and foremost, let me say that Counter Intuitive Records is absolutely killing it this year. Between Retirement Party's new LP, Mom Jeans' upcoming second LP Puppy Love, and this amazing new effort by Just Friends, the label is very quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with in the DIY music community. Nothing But Love is absolute fire. I've heard Just Friends lumped into the so-called new "party emo" scene, but in my opinion, not a whole lot of emo happening on this release. The record is banger after banger - aggressively energetic funk-punk jams with loads of gang vocals, horns and positive vibes. I've personally hosted the main members of Just Friends' massive roster at my home, and recorded an acoustic live session with them earlier this year. From personal experience, I can attest: this band is comprised of not only some of the most talented musicians and songwriters in the community, but also the most pleasant and humble. I am extremely impressed by this album and thrilled to see them receive favorable reception to Nothing But Love .
Slow Mass - "Schemes" (from the album On Watch)
Garrett La Bonte (guitar): My friend Justin Conway, of the incredible Merry Christmas, moved to Chicago a few years ago and turned me on to Slow Mass when they had just one EP and a couple videos of them playing in an abandoned pool. Their name popped up again this year when they announced their new record, On Watch, which came out in May. They released several tracks leading up to the release, and “Schemes” was the stand-out song to me. It mixes heavy guitar and bass tones with complimentary male and female vocals to create a really interesting, post-hardcore pop song. I have grown to really enjoy the entire record, but nothing beats the feedback-filled, collapsing end of this song. I want to play with this band when they come out to the West Coast!
Bill Frisell - "Think About It" (from the album Music IS)
Josue Quiquivix (guitar): Bill Frisell's guitar playing has always moved and inspired me so much in the way I approach my instrument.
Media Jeweler - "Hula Hoop" (from the album 1-800-SUCCEED)
Daniel Speer (bass/vocals): I still don't feel like Media Jeweler have properly captured their chest thumping, bass-heavy, krautrock-esque live sound on record, but they're getting there, and this song is one of my favorites of the year. Too short, but my band makes bloated six minute songs about the service industry, so what the fuck do I know? It's better live though. You've gotta believe me, it's better live.
Rivers of Nihil - "A Home" (from the album Where Owls Know My Name)
James: With their third studio album, Rivers of Nihil perfected their brand of technical death metal. While the influence from those who pioneered this relatively new, somewhat more flowery take on the subgenre (like Obscura and Fallujah) is obvious, this group nailed a perfect balance between technicality, catchiness and atmosphere. “A Home” is the lead single off their new effort, showcasing everything the band has to offer in a relatively concise (for the genre) five minutes. Epic keyboards, savage riffs and relentless drumming give way to sweeping instances of ambiance and beauty, all supporting the gripping vocals of Jake Dieffenbach. This pick is probably not to the taste of anyone else in Struckout, but progressive metal has been the backbone of my growth as a musician for the better part of a decade now. I consider myself the resident expert on this side of metal, and let me tell you, Where Owls Know My Name is one of the best records I've heard in recent years.
Hot Snakes - "Why Don't It Sink In?" (from the album Jericho Sirens)
Garrett: A perfect example of why John Reis has been, currently is, and always will be the king of the riff.
Gatecreeper - "War Has Begun" (from the album Split w/ Iron Reagan)
Josue: “War Has Begun” is just fucking metal.
JPEGMAFIA - "Baby I'm Bleeding" (from the album Veteran)
Daniel: I'm not sure what I can say about JPEGMAFIA that hasn't been said by other, more well-versed people on the internet. We need more albums about killing white supremacists.
Mouse On The Keys - "Stars Down" (feat. Dominique Fils-Aim é) (from the album Tres)
James: I've been following mouse on the keys since the release of their first studio album, An Anxious Object, in 2009. I was immediately taken by their effortless fusion of jazz, math-rock, and post-rock. Their new record, tres, pushes the Japanese three-piece to the limits of their creative ability while moving further away from technicality and into groove. This is not to say they don't retain a few wild songs - the blistering instrumental "Time" (featuring guitarist Mario Camarena of the mighty Chon) is the epitome of the sound they've been polishing for over a decade; however, it's mouse on the keys' second single, "Stars Down," that really stole the show for me. An unexpectedly dark and moody neo-soul jam, "Stars Down" features an undeniable vocal feature by Dominique Fils-Aim é and a spectacular use of space to create an oppressive, sinister atmosphere, eventually building to a passionate climax. The album has only been out since May (via Topshelf Records), but I'm already pining for more.
Jorja Smith - "I Am" (from the album Black Panther: The Album - Music from and Inspired By)
Garrett: Kendrick Lamar is my favorite “big time” contemporary artist, and I was very intrigued when I heard he would be creating and curating an album inspired by the Black Panther movie. His tracks are obviously great, but Jorja Smith's track is the biggest stand-out for me - her voice, the guitar, and the heavy-feeling production make it one of the most emotional hip-hop songs I've heard in a while.
Orquesta Akokán - "Mambo Rapidito" (from the album Orquesta Akokán)
Josue: This song is a straight feel-good banger. Nothing more to say.
Jean Grae & Quelle Chris - "Gold Purple Orange" (feat. Dane Orr) (from the album Everything's Fine)
Daniel: The stark, humorous and uncomfortable nature of this track is a good indicator of what goes on in the rest of this album. Also, Hannibal Buress is on one of the songs.
Beach House - "Black Car" (from the album 7)
James: 7 is, incredibly, my first experience with Beach House. I'm not sure how I managed to avoid listening to them all this time, but I'm certainly glad I finally got around to it. The two-piece dream pop outfit has justifiably received universal acclaim for their new album, as much like Radiohead's In Rainbows, not only is the record coherent as a whole, but every song can stand on its own. “Black Car” is my favorite of these - the track draws you in with its disconcerting, deep atmosphere while maintaining a distinctive, almost trip-hop groove and undeniably catchy vocal melodies. I have yet to dive further into Beach House's catalog, but if 7 is even remotely reflective of where they've come from, I'm quite excited to take the plunge.
The Messthetics - "The Inner Ocean" (from the album The Messthetics)
Garrett: Though “avant-garde, prog, and punk/jazz fusion” sounded like a headache, I couldn't pass up a record featuring my favorite rhythm section to have ever existed (Fugazi's). The first listen was a little strange, but after a few more, this record is settling more with me. This song specifically has a beautiful first half that almost has a Sigur Rós-esque eerie beauty to it, then breaks into a slower jam in a similar vein to Karate. I'm just happy Brendan Canty and Joe Lally are together again.
Nervosa - "Raise Your Fist!" (from the album Downfall of Mankind)
Josue: I’ve always been a big fan of this band. This song is about equality and fighting for it, and that’s always rad.
awakebutstillinbed - "safe" (from the album what people call low self-esteem is really just seeing yourself the way that other people see you)
Daniel: I haven't liked an emo record this much in a while. We played with awakebutstillinbed in San Jose and when they came down to SoCal. They make me want to be a better band, which is always the most bittersweet feeling.
Respire - "Catacombs" (from the album Denouément)
James: Denouément is the post-everything record to end all records. Equal parts black metal, shoegaze, emo and skrams, Respire has created a beautiful, cathartic album that, while clearly influenced by acts like Deafheaven and Oathbreaker, brings an original experience via their heavier emphasis on the latter two aforementioned genres. “Catacombs” lands squarely in the middle of the album, and it's the first track that wears its skrams influence purely on its sleeve, beginning with melancholy spoken word and building to a destructive finisher. Honestly, it's every trope you've come to expect in 2018, but perfectly executed and as fulfilling as you could possibly want. Also, this album was mastered by Jack Shirley at The Atomic Garden, who also engineered, produced, mixed and mastered our new record. I didn’t find that out until after my third spin!
Low - "Dancing and Blood" (from the album Double Negative)
Garrett: Low was the first band I ever saw live, and they are still one of the biggest influences on my creative being. I can wholeheartedly say I enjoy every Low record, but the first three songs they've released from their new record really blew me away. Throwing their externally-given “slowcore” label into the digital grinder, these new songs are such an appropriate companion piece for this strange digital time we're in. For a band that's been around for 25 years, they still catch me off-guard and inspire me over and over again.
Sleep - "Marijuanaut's Theme" (from the album The Sciences)
Josue: Sleep is back and bringing it hard with the riffs! This song is amazing and it’s good to hear they’re still playing and creating.
The Armed - "Witness" (from the album Only Love)
Daniel: I thought I was going to hate this, but I ended up really liking this album. It's noisy enough to clutter up the overall happy sounding songs. The synths are buried and occasionally crack over all of the fuzz, like a singer overreaching their range. It's good.