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.
BUCK GOOTER | “Peace Siren”
The legendary Buck Gooter have single handedly kept the VA DIY scene thriving for well over a decade, the duo marching to the experimental beat of their own drum (or drum machine). A staple of the underground, their sound has ranged from borderline inaccessible noise punk to clamoring industrial blues, ever thrashing it’s minimalist brutality with artistic promise. It’s rough yet focused, a sparse and ugly sound that drips along at its own mechanical ingenuity. Finer Thorns, the band’s upcoming eighteenth album (!) is a fantastic mix of primal blues punk and electronic psych, the band’s howling sound scrapping with rust against hypnotic grooves and programmed blips and bleeps of melody as heard on lead single “Peace Siren.” It’s an abrasive start to the record, a thin line between dissonance and dance-punk, but an essential listen for all with open mind and an artistic curiosity.
THE COATHANGERS | “Bimbo”
Every time The Coathangers have a new record I find myself saying something along the lines of “even as the band continue to refine their sound, the magic of their garage punk bliss only grows, with nuance and melody stronger than ever.” Well, it’s true and they’ve done it again, taking another giant leap further into sweetened studio pop, but retaining the bite and the ramshackle jittery nature that puts the spark in their fire. “Bimbo” starts off prettier than usual, a bouncing beat and bright vocal swoon drive in earworm lines, the song’s hook kicking up a bit of dust that both contrasts and pairs well the hypnotic essence of the song.
DAN FRANCIA | “Stereotype” + “Come Back To Life”
If you ever caught a show at Shea Stadium there’s a good chance you’re familiar with Dan Francia and the cast of musicians that play together with him on his full length debut, Come Back To Life. It’s an eclectic record with over thirty different collaborators, each enacting their own touch to Francia’s overall vision. He’s the composer and mastermind behind it all, and while the record truly needs to be heard in full to grasp the wide range of sounds, first singles “Stereotype” and “Come Back To Life” are a dandy starting point, the former a song that lets loose and has some fun (with lead vocals from Shea Stadium’s own Nora Dabdoub). The title track is a song of restoration and personal redemption and it finds Francia’s orchestral collaborations in a positive state of being.
HAND HABITS | “Placeholder”
In case you’ve forgotten, Hand Habits aka Meg Duffy is an exceptionally gifted songwriter, their songs unfolding in poetic verses and careening guitar work that sets mood and tone not easily shaken. Set to release a new album via Saddle Creek, “Placeholder,” the record’s first single and title track is both personal and swooning, a deep bass line running underneath the gentle melodies and washes of caterwauling accompaniment, every element strengthening Duffy’s gorgeous voice and the song’s feelings of being passed over and the false sense of emotional safety in familiar relationships. It’s a heartbreaking song built on swelling texture, each accent flourishing in its own compositional space.
OOZING WOUND | “Tween Shitbag“
With the announcement of Oozing Wound’s fourth album, High Anxiety, 2019 has gotten a whole lot better. The Chicago trio known for their blend of trash, punk, and noise rock (with any genre posturing on their behalf) rip and shred with the best of bands, balancing between speed and sludge for something steeped in dirt and lyrical disdain for much of the bullshit that riddles the music industry and the world at large. First single “Tween Shitbag” takes aim at a band that has used their popularity for toxic behavior, and Oozing Wound simply won’t stand for it, offering their own brand of crushing catharsis that kicks in the teeth of all that is shitty and privileged beyond consequence. It’s only January but let’s call it now, this record is one of the year’s best.
PAX | “Dry Ur Eyes”
The once solo project of Madeline Link (also of Triples), PAX has since grown, but their latest album, Ouch, is the creation of a singular mind, a singular voice, one that’s steeped in minimalism but still adept at pushing the boundaries of their songwriting. Using manipulated tape sounds and vivid swirls of melodic dissonance akin to Mega Bog or Helvetia’s earliest output, Ouch is a fantastic album that truly gets better with every listen. Originally released last summer as a digital download, Art Of The Uncarved Block are set to reissue the album on January 25th with an expanded cassette and two bonus tracks. Just over a minute long, “Dry Ur Eyes” makes use of its constricted time and stretches every note to feel slow and expansive, the vocals offered one syllable at a time.
STOVE | “Audiotree Live”
I don’t know what I can say about Stove that won’t sound hyperbolic but the band’s worn in riffs and songwriting are among the best we've got these days. Steve Hartlett’s lyrics are heartbreaking and personal but with a weariness that’s relatable to anyone who spends a bit too much time in their head. Their heft and beauty in his words is drawn out by the band’s fuzzy guitars and massive walls of feedbacking harmony, the guitars adding as much emotional weight as their songs about grief and acceptance. ‘s Favorite Friend is nothing short of a masterpiece and seeing the band play the songs live is always a treat, this Audiotree session being proof in the puddin’. With hooks at every turn, Stove make each moment count, evident in both the ferocious destruction of “Annoying Guy” and the blistering harmonies of “Favorite Friend.”
VINTAGE CROP | “Company Man”
Sometimes a new band comes along and leaves an immediate impression. I first heard Australia’s Vintage Crop last week (I know I’m late, don’t hold it against me) and from the proper opening moment of the band’s “Company Man,” printer/copier machine sound not-standing, I was hooked. The band’s sarcastic and agitated garage punk / post-punk sound is similar to bands like Ausmuteants and The Uranium Club, with the sarcasm and sharp wit fully in tact. Taking aim at the corporate wage slave and suit and tie capitalism, there’s a snide energy that ripples through their tightly wound tenacity, with dizzying riffs and a barrage of shifting hi-hat patterns that keep the groove while perpetuating the song’s jittery explosiveness. Give it a listen ahead of the EP’s release this Friday via Drunken Sailor and Anti Fade and be sure to check out last year’s New Age LP, an album we sorely missed but will make up for in repeat listens this year (because time is just a construct anyway).
December 31 - January 06:
BIG HEET “Outtabody“ | THE COWBOYS “Now With Feeling“ | D’ANGELO “Unshaken” | DARK TONES “North Shore Weirdos“ EP | DATENIGHT (US) “Uniform“ | GRAND VAPIDS “Dissolve“ | GREAT DECEIVERS “Checked Out Forever“ | JOHN DAVIS & MATTHEW CAWS “We Are In The Wild And We Are Home“ | MISTER GOBLIN “The Only Thing (Demo)“ | PARQUET COURTS & DANIELE LUPPI “Talisa” (feat. Karen O) | RONNIE ROGERS “Yankee“ | SCRUNCHIES “Eavesdropping“ | SHARKS’ TEETH “Demon Canal” LP
January 07 - January 13:
BUKE & GASE “Scholars“ | CAMP COUNSELOR “Cotton Mouth“ | CHEEKFACE “Eternity Leave” | CHERRY GLAZERR “Wasted Nun“ | CHERRY PICKLES “Elvis Exorcist” | DAVID VASSALOTTI “What Shall You Say Tonight“ | DEERHUNTER “Plains“ | EERIE WANDA “Pet Town“ | EX HEX “Cosmic Cave“ | FAT WHITE FAMILY “Feet” | GIRLPOOL “What Chaos Is Imaginary“ | GLASSINE “Éxodo“ | GUIDED BY VOICES “The Rally Boys” | HANK WOOD & THE HAMMERHEADS “Heads“ EP | KAREN O “Anti-Lullaby” | KRALLICE “Wolf” EP | LALA LALA & WHY? “Siren 042“ | MEAT PUPPETS “Nine Pins“ | OTOBOKE BEAVER “Anata Watashi Daita Ato Yome No Meshi“ | POTTY MOUTH “22” | PRIESTS “The Seduction of Kansas“ | RADIOHEAD “Ill Wind” | ROYAL TRUX “White Stuff“ | SASAMI “Jealousy“ | SEA CYCLES “Quota“ | SPACE MOUNTAIN “Cloud“ | SWERVEDRIVER “Spiked Flower“ | THELMA “Take Me To Orlando“ | TK ECHO “Fade My Mind“ | UN “Every Fear Illuminated” | UNKLE “Ar.Mour“ | WINTERSLEEP “Beneficiary“