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.
AUSMUTEANTS | “Forever Cops“
Of all the “egg punk” bands popping up over the past few years, there’s always been two that stand out from the pack, Minneapolis’ The Uranium Club and Melbourne’s Ausmuteants, a scrappy band whose members are involved in countless projects (Alien Nosejob and School Damage among them) but their combined efforts of twitchy futuristic and bitingly sarcastic post-punk is on a level all their own. It’s been three years since the great Band of the Future LP, but the band are back with Ausmuteants Present: The World in Handcuffs (out this April on Anti Fade Records), a scathing concept album written from the deranged point of a view of a cop out for blood. It’s everything you hate about the police and law enforcement distilled into first person narratives of “justice,” with a massive heaping of sardonic scorn and tongue in cheek agitation. Lead single “Forever Cops” is quintessential Ausmuteants, tightly wrapped and warped around discordant synths and wonky rhythmic structures that are brilliantly dizzying. The band remind you, “don’t forget, hands up, we’ll still shoot” reminding you that police corruption is, unfortunately, a worldwide problem.
BLAZAR | “Reach Out“ EP
When Tallahassee’s Ex-Breathers decided to call it a day it left a serious void in our hearts. The trio made crisp and brutal punk that had nervous energy with destructive structures, led by songwriters Jack Vermillion and David Settle. Since then Settle has been active with Big Heet, Psychic Flowers, a great new podcast, and more, but things have been relatively quiet for Vermillion on the recording front… until now. BLAZAR, his latest band, released Reach Out, their debut EP, a blown out and pummeling hardcore record with buzzsaw guitars and frantic tempos that are consistently set to “stampede.” Above the harsh fury of it all sits Vermillion’s blistering howls, his guttural yell and slurred shouting making a welcome return. It’s an all out assault on your eardrums, best experienced with headphones, but the raw energy and relentless momentum makes for a perfectly rattled debut.
CLINIC | “Rubber Bullets“
Liverpool art-rock extraordinaries Clinic are set to release their first new album in seven years (following the excellent Free Reign) and the band sound as vital as ever on lead single “Rubber Bullets,” a disorienting stagger back into their good graces. The band continue to swirl together psych, pop, krautrock, and haunting slacker garage rock into their bent futurism, with electronic bleeps and darkened grooves colliding to create something both sleek and a bit menacing. It’s warm and fuzzy but you don’t necessarily want to let down your guard as the band add in casual grunts and layers of noise pop earworms together with statements like “the trees they whisper to me” and “the best is yet to come”. Here’s hoping for a US tour.
DRAHLA | “Stimulus for Living”
After a string of great EPs and singles, Leeds trio Drahla will release Useless Coordinates, their full length debut this May via Captured Tracks. The band play a kinectic blend of post-punk, no-wave, and wiry minimalist punk, drawing as much from This Heat, The Fall, as early Yeah Yeah Yeahs and maybe even a bit of Lithics. The record’s lead single “Stimulus For Living” is fantastically discordant, bouncing around in your ears from side to side (try some headphones for this one) as they divert sounds and structures with a steely precision. It’s all steeped in shades of gray, but the guitars stab at random and the rhythm glides with a slew of ever shifting short repeated patterns. Luciel Brown’s deadpan vocals speed up and slow down with a poetic focus and cultural disdain that culminates in a perfectly disingenuous “it feels fine.”
EMPATH | “Hanging Out of Cars”
Philadelphia’s Empath are a band that live up the hype swirling around them. After a great debut EP and an equally great 7” single last year comes Active Listening: Night on Earth, the band’s fast approaching full length debut. Due out April 2nd via Get Better Records, the first two singles are reeling in their own hazy fog, built on guitar, drums, and a pair of synths that swallow and augment melodies into the fuzzier side of noise pop with an attack closer to punk. Latest single “Hanging Out of Cars” rattles out of the speakers, with a corrosive blend of distorted keys and rusty shoegaze guitars for an immersive ride on their own sonic adventures. Midway through the song the noise breaks and the feedback resolves into something meditative and tranquil, an approach that makes you wonder just what happens next. Thankfully we only have a week or two before we find out upon the album’s release.
FULL OF HELL | “Burning Myrrh“
Ever since I heard 2017’s Trumpeting Ecstasy, I’ve been hooked on Full of Hell and their relentlessly grinding art metal. It’s brutally fast and unapologetically heavy, but there’s a great deal of nuance in their convulsive destruction, with doubled vocals that are both guttural and shrieking, howling with demonic fury in a variety of tones to appease the pickiest of grindcore fans (like me). Set to release Weeping Choir via Relapse in May, the album’s first single “Burning Myrrh” is probably the best metal song we’ve heard so far in 2019, a repulsively explosive mix of grinding technicality and disgusted doom-like sludge. The song winds around in a vortex of blackened metal, twisting itself into new shapes and tempos, each more vicious than the last until the dragged into the dirt finale.
HUMAN PEOPLE | “Jenny”
Last year Brooklyn’s Human People released Butterflies Drink Turtle Tears, a debut album packed to the gills with #SmashHits. The record is a rarity, one where every single song attaches itself deep into your subconscious, earning a place in your memory forever; thick riffs, syrupy melodies, and hooks beyond hooks. The band recently shared a video for one of those smash hits, the brilliantly clever “Jenny”. In the video, directed by the band, the quartet play with themes of projected images of self and putting outward a curated version of who we truly are. Inspired by sci-fi stories like Videodrome and Neon Genesis Evangelion, it’s a great clip that matches the lyrical themes that your perception of someone isn’t always who they are or what it seems.
PAX | “Sink”
Earlier this year Toronto’s PAX reissued their latest album, Ouch, via The Art of The Uncarved Block together with a mention that the once solo project of Madeline Link had expanded into a full band. Already thoroughly blown away by the sound of Ouch and the experimental nature of Link’s bedroom recordings, “Sink” is our first experience with PAX as a full band, and well, it’s truly great. The new single brings the same serene lo-fi warble that suits Link’s songwriting so well and amplifies it with the addition of bass and drums, loosing none of the free form tape manipulated weirdness in the process. The melody warps together with a garage pop rhythm, a radiant backbone that allows Link’s vocals to lilt and guitars to shift in and out of focus in faded bursts of fuzzy perfection. It’s time to get real into this band.
PILE | “Bruxist Grin”
Following last year’s Odds and Ends collection, Pile are back with Green and Gray, a sprawling new album continuously pushing the envelope as they explore both the heaviest and prettiest elements of their sound, and the duality between the two. The latest configuration of the band, which includes Rick Maguire and Kris Kuss joined by recent additions Chappy Hull (Gnarwhal, Shell of a Shell) and Alex Molini (Stove, Jackal Onasis) are taking a variety of chances throughout the record, each one brilliantly executed. Lead single “Bruxist Grin” is an impeccably crafted stomper that swirls with the a thudding twang that sounds something like cosmic country post-whatever sludge. The songs tilts its axis as it spins in concentric circles, sputtering into jaw-dropping bridges and corrosive builds along the way, Kuss’ drums pound out unpredictable patterns with definable feeling in every hit. I have a hard time expressing just how much I love Pile’s music, but Green and Gray is as real a masterpiece as I’ve ever heard.
PROTRUDERS | “Hydrophytol“
Sometimes you hear a song and it just resonates. When I first heard Protruders a mere few weeks ago, I knew absolutely nothing about them (I still know pretty much nothing about them) other than the fact that Feel It Records was putting out their new album Poison Future, but I decided to check out their single, “Hydrophytol,” and it sure did resonate. The Canadian band have self released several EPs (with an early live recording of this song included) but their art-punk skronk and reckless clamor has never sounded better than it does with a touch of studio clarity lighting the otherwise muddy way. “Hydrophytol” is bleeding with sax noise and blown out guitars, each given their own space in the mix that while loud and abrasive, manages to keep the sounds from running over each other, each unhinged element working together in caterwauling unison.
SHADY BUG | “Lemon Lime” LP
Our love for Shady Bug’s sophomore album Lemon Lime continues to grow with every passing listen. The record, built on hard opposing dynamics and gradually devolving melodies, never rests in one place and it never allows you to get comfortable (in a good way). There’s enough generic indie rock being made if you want something boring, for those who want a band that’s as divergently interesting as they are adept as dense hooks and bright melodies, Shady Bug have to be among the best. Built around Hannah Rainey’s incredible vocals and her deceptively shreddy guitar work, the entire band revolve around detached ideas, pushing their framework off its hinges and into new realms without notice, snapping right back into place with a dexterity and grace that few bands achieve.
SHANA CLEVELAND | “Night of the Worm Moon”
The title track to Shana Cleveland’s upcoming solo album starts with a finger picked guitar line not too far from “Paint It Black” but settles into something much dreamier and lush. The La Luz front person is creating songs that both float and ramble through reserved desert soundscapes, her guitars accompanied by gently sweeping strings and her smooth comfort of a voice. The song sounds part emotional seance, part spiritual awakening, its a track that slowly creeps from shadows to a sense of eerie loneliness. The chorus reinforces that feeling as Cleveland cooly states “nothing’s the loudest sound, in a house when no one’s around.” After three exceptional singles, we’re very excited to hear this record in full.
SHARKMUFFIN | “Fate”
Since I’ve been listening to Sharkmuffin’s upcoming Gamma Gardening EP there have been periods where I’ve thought each of the songs on it were my favorite. Which is to say it’s a great album, each track of the sci-fi concept record presenting something slightly different while retaining the signature energy and charm that make Sharkmuffin such a special band. “Fate,” the album’s closer, could just be the one though; with its slinky guitar progressions and washed out sustain gliding over Jordyn Blakely’s always stunningly tight rhythms and colossal fills. Tarra Thiessen’s guitars and Natalie Kirch’s deeply locked in bass line absolutely explode about a minute into the song, spiraling through spaced out distortion and leading into the triumphantly agitated swoon. The song tears from one great primal refrain back to a gentle surfiness and back again, the ebb and flow of conceptually imagined intergalactic punk.
TROPICAL FUCK STORM | “The Planet of Straw Men“
Last year Melbourne’s Tropical Fuck Storm came out of nowhere to release one of the year’s best record. That album, A Laughing Death In Meatspace, is so perfectly undefinable and intrinsically well-written that elements ranging from folk and dance-punk blended seamlessly with noise rock and experimental electronic touches to create something that not only felt natural, it was infinitely interesting and relatively accessible. Back less than a year later with an upcoming 7” single, we’re thrilled to see that it wasn’t a fluke and that ol’ Tropical Fuck Storm magic is still well in-tact on “The Planet of Straw Men.” The band’s latest is a veiled political scrawl against corruption and delusion among those with power of government (“there only purpose is to disagree and do it publicly), and in TFS form it starts with a razor tight rhythm section creating what could be a dance floor hit and eventually shakes its way into uncontrolled chaos on the mutant end of the pop spectrum. The guitars weave around the jagged beat, forming their own shapes in sprawling spasms of distortion and quick stinging melodies. Tropical Fuck Storm are making important music, from Gareth Liddiard’s impressionistic yet pointed lyrics to the band’s free form and forward thinking structural carnage.
VIAGRA BOYS | “Just Like You”
As we mentioned in our “Year In Review” feature, it took us a while to get past Viagra Boys’ name and give them a fair listen, but once we did their album Street Worms was soon cemented as a welcome addition to our favorites of 2018. While the Swedish band certainly have a unique sense of humor that often feels chemically fueled, their music is tightly coiled post-punk that can swing from The Stooges and Devo inspired mayhem touching upon all that falls in between. “Just Like You,” one of the record’s stand outs received a new video just ahead of the band’s US shows (we caught one and it was all we hoped for), a cllp that finds the band’s forever shirtless and hilariously nonchalant tempered frontman singing (microphone included) at a bar, a grocery store, and a shrimp factory (because why not). With everything the band does, the video and single is a mix of depravity and humorous lyrics, sharp and clever but never at the expense of their “taking the piss” attitude. This band is funny in a detached way, but its not overly goofy or annoying, the overt cynicism bodes well for their hypnotic kraut-punk craft. It’s dry sense of ironic joy is brought to life in the great video, a simplistic yet sordid jaunt about town.
MARCH 04 - MARCH 10:
ADIR L.C. “Reacting“ | AMYL & THE SNIFFERS “Monsoon Rock” | BABEHOVEN “Icelake” | BIG BLISS “Duplicate“ | BLACK MOUNTAIN “Future Shade“ | COASTER “Power Tools“ + “Be Who” | COMMUNITY COLLEGE “Comco“ LP | DEHD “Lucky“ | FACS “Total History“ | FEELS “Find A Way“ | FONTAINES D.C. “Roy’s Tune“ | FREDDIE GIBBS & MADLIB “Bandana“ (feat. Assassin) | GEMMA “Only One“ | GLAZER + SPOWDER “Split 7”“ EP | GREYS “These Things Happen“ | GRIM STREAKER “Today New York“ | HASH REDACTOR “Good Sense“ | ILLUMINATI HOTTIES “I Wanna Keep Yr Dog“ | LALA LALA “Water Over Sex“ (Audiotree Far Out session) | MUNYA “Blue Pine“ | NOTS “Half Painted House“ | ODONIS ODONIS “Collector“ | OOZING WOUND “Tween Shitbag“ | OTOBOKE BEAVER “I’m Tired Of Your Repeating Story“ | PATIO “New Reality“ | PERENNIAL “Landscape In Four Pieces“ | POOL HOLOGRAPH “Stage Fright“ | PROTOMARTYR “Jumbo’s” | QUELLE CHRIS “Straight Shot“ (feat. Cavalier, Bilal Salaam, Eldar Djangirov, & James Acaster) | RAZORBUMPS “… The Cassingle“ | SADURN “Clementine” | SLOPPY JANE “King Mitis“ + “In The Future It Was Me Who Burned It Down” | SLOTHRUST “Double Down (2019 Mix)“ | STEF CHURA “Method Man“ | STEPHEN MALKMUS “Come Get Me“ | SUN JUNE “Monster Moon“ | TADZIO “Cythera“ | TIM PRESLEY’S WHITE FENCE “Fog City“ | TRACE MOUNTAINS “Where It Goes“ | TREDICI BACCI “La Fine Del Futuro“ LP | VITAL IDLES “Careful Extracts“ | WIRES ON FIRE “Learn To Drown (Revisited)”
MARCH 11 - MARCH 17:
ANDERSON .PAAK “King James” | ELIZABETH COLOUR WHEEL “Somnambulist“ | FRANKIE COSMOS “Dancing“ + “Tunnel“ | GONZO “Never Say Never“ | ILLUMINATI HOTTIES “Audiotree Live“ | KAREN O & DANGER MOUSE “Turn The Light“ | LISA/LIZA “Real Estate” (Live in the Great NorthWesty Session) | MARISSA NADLER & STEPHEN BRODSKY “For The Sun” | MONTEAGLE “Master (Hidden Valley)“ | PALBERTA “Big Time + Ink of Truth“ (Blue Room Session) | PETITE LEAGUE “White Knuckle Wildflower“ | QWAM “Buy A Toy” | RUSSIAN BATHS “Parasite“ | SAUDADE “Shadows & Light“ (feat. Chelsea Wolfe) | SNAKESKIN “Alone in a Crowded Room“ | THER “Nonultrajoy“ EP | THE UV RACE “Mr Blame“ | THE WANTS “Ape Trap”
MARCH 18 - MARCH 24:
ALL PEOPLE “Harbor” | ASEETHE “No Realm” | CATE LE BON “Daylight Matters“ | COUGHY “F” | CROWS “Silver Tongues“ | CZARFACE & GHOSTFACE KILLAH “Powers and Stuff“ | DMBQ “No Things” | EFRIM MANUEL MENUCK & KEVIN DORIA “We Will“ | EX HEX “It’s Real“ LP | FACS “Another Country“ | FAT WHITE FAMILY “Tastes Good With The Money“ | FRANKIE COSMOS “February“ + “In The World” | GLASSING “Lobe“ | GOBBINJR “My Love“ (Justin Timberlake cover) | GOON “Datura“ | HETHER FORTUNE “Forget The Night“ | INSTITUTE “Dazzle Paint“ | THE INTELLIGENCE “L’appel du Vide“ | JOSEPHINE WIGGS “Time Does Not Bring Relief“ | LOW DOSE “Start Over“ | MATT SURFIN’ & FRIENDS “Get Down“ | MATT SURFIN’ & FRIENDS “Loser“ | MIKE DONOVAN “Wadsworth March“ | PIG DESTROYER “Cameraman“ | QUELLE CHRIS “Guns” LP | RYAN POLLIE “Aim Slow“ | SAUNA “Felt“ | SORRY “Jealous Guy“ | SPRING SILVER “Drop Into The Blue“ | TEEN BODY “Dreamo” | TŌTH “When I Awoke“ | WAND “Walkie Talkie” | WILD FIRTH “Eyes“ + “Girl” | THE WORLD “Reddish” LP | YOB “Amoeba Green Room Session“