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.
BETHLEHEM STEEL | “Bad Girl”
Brooklyn’s Bethlehem Steel are set to release their sophomore album next month and the first single is a doozy of unnerving riffs, enormous grooves, and big anthemic vocals. There’s a bit of an ominous quality to the bass line and the haunting guitars, but Becca Ryskalczyk’s voice is as powerful as ever, disregarding the voices of others but ever consumed with that the sounds in her own head as she expounds, “woke up early to hate myself, am I bad girl?” The riff plays with caustic tension while the drums shuffle and eventually break into open space before the song unravels and slinks its way into a blistering sax-filled skronk finale. The video, part pool party, part murder mystery noir, is just delightful.
BLACK COUNTRY, NEW ROAD | “Sunglasses”
Hype is a crazy thing to watch in action, to watch it spread like wildfire. With only one song out in the world, “Sunglasses” marks single number two for London’s Black Country, New Road, and you’d be hard pressed to find a music site that isn’t already deeply enthralled. They have been “chosen” and thankfully, it’s well deserved this time around. Bred from the same scene as Black Midi and Squid, the band pair together post-punk, noise rock, and the avant-garde, recalling a unique mix that finds itself somewhere between Oxbow and The Fall. It really is pretty brilliant and remarkable and if this is where we find mainstream art punk going, we’re pretty thankful. The song is filled with sardonic wit and deranged outbursts, contracting and expanding from chaotic to hypnotic with nimble dexterity.
C.H.E.W. | “Audiotree Live”
Last year Chicago’s C.H.E.W. released their exceptional full length debut, Feeding Frenzy, and the band have been busy touring in support of it ever since. They recently stopped in at Audiotree for a whirlwind session that included fifteen propulsive hardcore songs, full of energy and venom. Their sound is undeniably destructive and equally fun, an unwound and cathartic blend of blast beats, piercing guitar distortion, and barked vocals that gnash straight for the jugular. The band occasionally dip into sludge and spoken vocals, if only momentarily before the pummeling swerves back into full on onslaught. It’s about as entertaining as a live video gets, so check it out, and then go see them live.
LUNCH LADY | “Sweet One”
Comprised of former members of Abe Vigoda and Heller Keller, Lunch Lady are digging deep into the 80’s jangle of both LA and British post-punk, leaning toward the western twang that riddled early The Fall and Gun Club efforts. Yet, they sound nothing like either of those bands, instead creating their own dreamy twang, full of atmosphere and hypnotic melodies. “Sweet One” is the second single from the record, an intricately coiled slow burner that lurks in the shadows while retaining an unflinching shimmer. The country influence is evident in Rachel Birke’s vocals, enunciating with a Southern drawl that works an added texture to the otherwise insistent post-punk darkness.
MANEKA | “Positive”
Devin, the full length debut from Brooklyn’s Maneka follows no real blueprint other than staying true to itself. The album pushes the envelop in all directions, subverting all expectations, and proving that within the framework of art punk, just about anything is possible. The album’s third single “Positive” is one of their most immediate moments, harnessing the elements of their band closest to pop and shoegaze (almost in a Swirlies way) with Devin McKnight’s syrupy melodies and Jordyn Blakely’s gorgeous responses that ring counterpoint to the woozy atmosphere. It’s all pretty blissed out and the song gains in disorientation as it drifts out on a psychedelic wash of guitars.
PARSNIP | “Rip It Off”
We are very big fans of Melbourne’s Parsnip and all their infectious four part harmonies. Constantly dazzling and forever stuck in our heads, the band’s garage pop and chilled out post-punk sound has been radiant since their earliest singles. Now that they’re releasing their full length debut, When The Tree Bears Fruit, via Anti Fade (AU) and Trouble In Mind (US), each single continues to prove the band’s masterful knack for spindly guitars, warm synths, and rhythms that keep it all pulsing. “Rip It Off” is like a psychedelic voyage into the past, with summertime harmonies so incredibly locked in they nearly sound as one singular voice. The band announced their first US tour dates this week and we can’t wait to catch them.
PILE | “Firewood” (Audiotree Far Out)
There’s nothing like seeing Pile live. It’s as close to a religious experience as we could ever have (or want) and over the years it’s only getting better and better… as the sets and catalog get longer and longer. Having released Green and Grey earlier this year, an album that is most definitely among our favorites (an understatement if there ever was one), they hit the road this past Spring in support of it and made some time while in Chicago to do a “Far Out” session with Audiotree. The event took them to ReBuilding Exchange, a warehouse for reclaimed building materials. Watching the band play both “Firewood” and “A Labyrinth With No Center” among a bunch of toilets and bathtubs feels good… it feels comforting. The performances themselves are nothing short of spectacular, pulling out every twist and turn with raw ingenuity, creating that never ending rollercoaster ride of unpredictable shifts and the seasick waves of carefully orchestrated aggression. Witness the magic, toilets and all.
RICHARD DAWSON | “Jogging”
I was first introduced to the majesty of Richard Dawson wth the release of Peasant back in 2017 and it’s been an honest joy to dig backward into this catalog in the years since. The enigmatic UK auteur makes experimental folk that borrows from prog, extended noise rock composition, and traditional bard storytelling, in the most captivating of ways. Peasant was an incredible album that felt from another world, like a lost release sent from middle earth. Following his work last year with the amazing Hen Ogledd, he’s back with a new solo album, 2020, due out in October via Domino. The album’s first single “Jogging” is a wild ride of synth manipulation, sludgy awakenings, and a truly progressive composition. It refuses to sit still, taking leaps and bounds in different territories and somehow… just somehow… sounding cohesive. The lyrics are incredible (and you can follow along in the video) and Dawson’s voice is perfectly pulled from days long since past. He’s making the most unique music and it’s a real must hear.
TROPICAL FUCK STORM | “Who’s My Eugene?”
Last year Tropical Fuck Storm released my favorite album of the year (non-EIS category) and it’s looking possible they could earn that mark yet again. With Braindrops coming out later this month, the album’s latest single “Who’s My Eugene?” is a slight departure from the Tropical Fuck Storm you think you know, with lead vocals from the band’s Erica Dunn. While the band members all sing on many of the songs throughout their two albums, Dunn really steals the show here with a song she wrote about “Eugene Landy, the doctor that drugged the shit out of Brian Wilson and emptied his bank account.” It’s an unmistakeable Tropical Fuck Storm song, with the skronky and detached guitar lines stuttering in a funky sort of doom. The silky groove is nearly reminiscent of Blonde Redhead, but deformed and reimagined as their own, ultra mutant-pop reconstruction. If you’re not immediately in love, just keep listening.
WEEPING ICON | “Ripe For Consumption”
Following their noise induced introductory EP, Brooklyn’s Weeping Icon are ready to unleash their full length debut, and not a moment too soon. We’ve been anticipating this one for some time and first single “Ripe For Consumption” does not disappoint. It’s loud, aggressive, and muddy, just as it was meant to be, an immersive wall of paint peeling guitars and bludgeoning low end that’s layered thick and delivered with corrosive resolve. The band play no-wave with a punk spirit, their songs whipping into a fury of collaged noise and shouted vocals awash in echo and feedback. It’s full of texture and agitation, both of which are slowly burning their surroundings to the ground.
July 22 - July 28:
ALLAH-LAS “In The Air” | BEEEF “Morning Light” | BLACK BELT EAGLE SCOUT “My Heart Dreams“ | BLACK MILK “Black NASA” | BLACKER FACE “Tantric Suicide“ | CHERUBS “Immaculada High” LP | DISCUS “Prodigal Son“ | DUMP HIM “Dykes to Watch Out For” | DYE “Hostage“ | EXEK “Unetiquetted” | FLORIST “M” | FREDDIE GIBBS & MADLIB “Giannis” (feat. Anderson .Paak) | GANSER “Bad Form“ | GREY HAIRS “Piss Transgressor” | ILL GLOBO “Streamlined Success“ | THE INTELLIGENCE “Year of the Vet” | KISSED BY AN ANIMAL “Kissed By An Animal” LP | MARK LANEGAN BAND “Letter Never Sent“ | MULTICULT “Torsion“ | MUNYA “Dove” | OH SEES “Heartworm“ | PEAER “In My Belly“ | POSSIBLE HUMANS “Lung of the City“ | PRETTIEST EYES “Mr. President“ | SHANA CLEVELAND “Live at KEXP” | SHEER MAG “Hardly To Blame“ | SHOULD’VE “Dirt Don’t Smell” EP | TY SEGALL “Ice Plant” | YOUNG GUV “Patterns Prevail”
July 29 - August 4:
ANGEL OLSEN “All Mirrors” | BUSH TETRAS “A Sucker Is Born” | BUSH TETRAS “There Is A Hum“ | ESSI “Pines and Cones“ | ESTHER ROSE “Lower 9 Valentine“ | FLORAL PRINT “Floral Print” EP | FUCK LUNGS “Judgement Free Jazz” | GHOSTFACE KILLAH “Party Over Here“ | GIRL RAY “Show Me More“ | GLASSING “Audiotree Live“ | HALFSOUR “Built-In Guilt” | HIDEOUS SUN DEMON “Can’t Live Like That” | IDLES “I Dream Guillotine” | IGGY POP “James Bond“ | INUS “There Was a Fish in the Percolator“ | INUS “Western Spaghettification“ LP | KAPUTT “Very Satisfied” | LILITH “Decency“ | LONG BEARD “Means To Me” | MIKAL CRONIN “Show Me” | MOPE GROOVES “Desire” LP | OPERATOR MUSIC BAND “Mondo” | POM POM SQUAD “Honeysuckle“ | QUEEN OF JEANS “All The Same” | RAPSODY “Ibtihaj” (feat. GZA & D’Angelo) | SAUNA “Carousel“ | SLEATER-KINNEY “Can I Go On“ | SNUBBED “Snubbed” LP | 0 STARS “Round 2“