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 | “Govt Cheese”
Bethlehem Steel’s new self-titled album expands on everything that was great about Party Naked Forever and reshapes itself into something refined, dynamic, and crushingly personal. The addition of Christina Puerto to the band has breathed a new life into the quartet, lending a second voice to the songwriting and allowing for harmonies in both guitars and vocals. There’s plenty of change that can be heard as the band swerve around collapsing structures and dig into cathartic melodies. “Govt Cheese,” the last single prior to the album’s release is a personal favorite (on an album chock full of them), a song that has floored me since the first time I heard it live, the twin guitar and vocal harmonies locked in and as radiant as they come. It has a timeless feel to it like something you’ve been listening to your entire life and it will also sound damn near perfect, and the brilliantly choreographed video is impossibly entertaining. There’s some serious dance moves in this one.
BLACK BEACH | “Dumpster Fire”
Boston’s Black Beach are set to release Tapeworm in October, their first full length since 2016, and it’s a bit of a re-introduction to their sound. While they’ve orbited between post-punk, garage, and fuzzy psych, the band’s latest is a firm transition into post-hardcore, their influences sounding closer to Drive Like Jehu than Oh Sees, and it’s a stylistic transition that truly works for the trio. There’s a caustic feeling to the record’s second single “Dumpster Fire,” as the tightly wound rhythms and heavily corrosive guitars could explode at any time. The tension never lasts long though as the band are quick to obliterate into wiry sludge as they come progressively unglued.
CLOUD RAT | “Pollinator” LP
Michigan’s Cloud Rat make intense and visceral grindcore with the most artistic of abilities. The structures, pummeling and chaotic, feel unique in their ferocity; ripped from their very being in an outpouring of relentless brutality. There’s nothing cloaked and mysterious in their approach, it’s brash and executed with an incredible immediacy and that make their latest album Pollinator a distinctly wild ride, uncompromising at every moment and without any respite or momentary lull. Even with intensity at a constant fever pitch, the band are able to convert and contract expectations, darting between blast beats and caterwauling carnage with a dynamism that is rare in these extremes. Each jagged shift, careening flood of distortion, and throat shredding bark is played with nuance… nuance and crippling heaviness. It’s so violent and primal, but most certainly from a personal place, these songs are based in feeling. *The band also released a companion EP, Do Not Let Me Off The Cliff, that is essentially the polar opposite, an ethereal and brooding set of songs that are deeply melodic and expansively haunting. The sound is closer to Portishead than say Pig Destroyer, and well, they’re great at that too.
CRUMB | “M.R.”
New York’s Crumb released their full length debut, Jinx, back in June at the start of a summer and the album hast kept us company throughout the hottest of months. The band’s cool vibes and vivid psych/soul arrangements offer the perfect chill for when things seem to get hazy. Album centerpiece “M.R.” wastes no time warping you into Crumb’s world and the song has come to life in a new video to coincide with their headlining tour. Built on molasses slow shots that crawl at a pace beyond the track’s own syrupy groove. The colors work together with the band’s silky guitars, everything it’s own gradient of surreal and cosmically majestic. The tempo of the song and video shift into timelapse as the band work toward a crescendo that lands firmly back in this atmosphere.
KAL MARKS | “Science Is Science”
The ever dependable Kal Marks are often at their best when writing prolonged slow burners that are both introspective and hypnotic. Let The Shit House Burn Down closer “Science Is Science” is one of those songs, plodding in the darkness with an ethereal beauty and sludgy brilliance, a song inspired by the ongoing climate change crisis, and the hard to imagine fact that some still haven’t acknowledged the issue. It opens heavily effected guitars that drone like a wave of synths and the band’s incredible rhythm section to Michael Geacone and Alex Audette holding the distorted stabs and bursts of noise into place with their own complex and driving weight. The band have never sounded better and Carl Shane’s aggression comes pouring out, both blistering and emotional, and it’s perfectly crafted into the song.
KAZU | “Come Behind Me, So Good!”
KAZU aka Kazu Makino is best known for her work in the legendary Blonde Redhead but this past week she’s released her debut solo album, Adult Baby, a stunning record that draws from a similar framework while expanding it deeper into manipulated pop and experimental electronic sounds. There’s less structural integrity to her songwriting, using that to her advantage to simply explore and see where she push and pull to create something immersive from loops and dreamy arrangements. The album’s third single “Come Behind Me, So Good!” is built upon vocal loops that construct a good majority of the backbone, her words cutting over various samples of her voice, the layered effect creating something that bubbles and trickles in melodies wherever they may fit.
RICHARD DAWSON | “Two Halves”
“Two Halves” is a song that only Richard Dawson could make work. He’s written a song about “football” (or soccer as we call it), that’s actually more about issues with trying to please his father… and the lyrics are as literal as can be, and yet, it’s pretty amazing. Impossible you say? Not in the hands of pretty much the only current musician I’d call a modern day bard, his words and cadences poetic and delivered with an honest elegance. In the song and it’s terrific video, Dawson reflects upon his childhood playing soccer when seemingly he rather be doing anything else, as his dad yells on after missed shots and opportunities. His vocal approach remains brilliant as a story teller with a flare for the epic. Ultimately, it works out in the end as his dad asks on the car ride home, “shall we pick up Chinese or would you prefer fish-n-chips”.
SHIMMER | “Into The Mass”
Our favorite sordid noise punk group Shimmer are back with their sophomore album, And I Revel, due out early November via Decoherence Records. The term super group is pretty dumb but in the case of Shimmer, whose members play in Palberta, The Cradle, and Tredici Bacci, it fits for anyone that’s a fan of forward thinking DIY punk in 2019. Their unique sensibilities come together to make the ugliest and most unpredictable noise rock, and we mean that in the absolute best of ways. Their self-titled debut was one of our favorites and judging by first single “Into The Mass,” things are only getting better. Opening with a deceptively sweet introduction with honest melodies and a dizzying rhythmic pulse, it quickly devolves into pained howls and agitated shouts, compacting and convulsing through displaced murk and dirgy menace. Then the entire thing bursts open, exploding at the seems with guitars and vocals running wild while the rhythm’s disjointed plodding is kicked into a manic fury. Which is all to say, welcome back Shimmer.
SWEET WILLIAMS | “Stop It I’m Killing You”
Following lead single “Ride A Gold Snail” (which we wrote about here), Sweet Williams are sharing the record’s opener, “Stop It I’m Killing You,” a song described by their press release as “celebratory.” While it may be a stretch to call much of anything that Sweet Williams does to be joyous, the tonality of this one is definitely more upbeat than their formula often allows. The guitars are still layered thick and with that kind of distortion that removes rust from scrapyards, each stretched progression and melodic vocal line pulled to the point just shy of warping. Thomas House’s lyrics are fairly buried in the mix as he repeats “ain’t no snake in my bread,” brought out to emphasis the melody as the guitars pound together with the drums in a rhythmic wall of jagged sound. It’s a promising lead in to a gorgeously tarnished record.
WATER FROM YOUR EYES | “Bad In The Sun”
The ever brilliant Water From Your Eyes are back with a brand new album, Somebody Else’s Song, due out toward the end of October. The duo of Rachel Brown and Nate Amos, two incredible creative minds (see also: Thanks For Coming and This Is Lorelei), return to our personal favorite project of theirs, continuing to write genre-defying smash hits that part electronic dance pop, part post-punk, and inarguably infectious. The record’s first single (or second if you count the previously released “Break”) is built on a mechanical groove with a rapid beat (that almost reminds me of Nine Inch Nails) until the sun-soaked melody comes looped in and Brown’s warm vocals provide a human element. Amos’ composition makes incredible use of repetition and restraint, pulling guitars, synths, and programmed drums in and out of focus only to bring them back, each time the groove more complex and more compelling. Heavily layered and impeccably structured, its another smash hit from a band creating a style all their own.
September 02 - September 08:
BAT ZUPPEL “Suspicion“ | BLEACHED “Daydream“ | BODUF SONGS “Gimme Vortex“ | CHASTITY BELT “Drown” | CHEEKFACE “Wedding Guests“ | CHELSEA WOLFE “Deranged For Rock & Roll” | CONWAY “Tito’s Back” (feat. Benny The Butcher & Westside Gunn) | COOL ORIGINAL “Not Like That” | DEAD SOFT “I Believe You“ | DEAF CLUB “Boyfriends of Christ“ | DEMON LOVER “Nokia” (feat. Dubb Nubb) | DRILL “This Is Not A Drill” EP | EX HEX “It’s Real“ + “What Kind of Monster Are You” (Slant 6 cover) | FOSTER CARE “Outbreak” | FOUNTAIN “Laughing Through Traffic” LP | FRANKIE COSMOS “41st” | FULL BODY “Looked at the Picture” | GATECREEPER “Everlasting“ | HETHER FORTUNE “The Joker” (Live) | HOMEBOY SANDMAN “Far Out“ | HOVVDY “Ruin (My Ride)” | ILLUMINATI HOTTIES “I Wanna Dance With Somebody“ (Whitney Houston cover) | L’ÉPÉE “Diabolique“ LP | L’ORANGE & JEREMIAH JAE “Borrowed Brass” (feat. Zeroh & Lojii) | LITURGY “God of Love” | MAMIFFER “River of Light” | THE MESSTHETICS “Touch Earth Touch Sky” | MIKAL CRONIN “Shelter” | MOTH VEGAS “Monkey Bowling“ | NO MEN “Sucker“ | POST/BOREDOM “Purgatory for Magickal Malpractice“ | PRISSY WHIP “Masks“ | SEAN HENRY “Rain, Rain” | SENSUAL WORLD “Ugly Being“ | SKYZOO & PETE ROCK “Eastern Conference All-Stars“ (feat. Westside Gunn, Conway, Benny The Butcher, & Elzhi) | SLEATER-KINNEY “Can I Go On“ | STEREOLAB “Come And Play In The Milky Night (Demo)” | SUMMER CANNIBALS “Audiotree Live” | SUN ORGAN “Sun Organ” LP | TENNIS SYSTEM “Rotting Out“ | THIGH MASTER “Mould Lines” | TRIPLES “Long Life” + “Hillslide” | TWIN PONIES “Always A Ways Away”
September 09 - September 15:
AMY O “Rest Stop” | ANGEL OLSEN “Lark” | APOLLO BROWN “God Help Me” (feat. Black Milk, Ketchphraze, & DJ Los) | BETHLEHEM STEEL “Bethlehem Steel” LP | BLOOD WARRIOR “Wooden Shade“ | CATE LE BON “Company In My Back” (Wilco cover) | CLOUD RAT “Do Not Let Me Off The Cliff“ EP | CLUB NIGHT “Village” | CONTROL TOP “Audiotree Live” | DESERT SHARKS “I Don’t Know How To Dress For The Apocalypse“ | DRY CLEANING “Sit Down Meal“ | FOSTER CARE “No Respect” | FREDDIE GIBBS & MADLIB “Half Manne Half Cocaine” | FREEZING COLD “Parentheses“ | GIRL BAND “Salmon of Knowledge” | GREAT GRANDPA “Digger” | HALF STACK “Goner“ | THE HECKS “Flash“ | KIM GORDON “Air BnB“ | LINA TULLGREN “Free Cell“ | LUGGAGE “Shift” | MINDFIELD “Sacrifice of the Skin” | MOON DUO “Eternal Shore“ | NEIL YOUNG WITH CRAZY HORSE “Rainbow of Colors” | OMNI “Skeleton Key” | PAX “Sucked Up“ EP | PLANET B “The Beginning Is Near” | PRISSY WHIP “Erzsébet“ | STONE TEMPLE PILOTS “Meatplow” (Live at New Haven Veterans Memorial Coliseum, 1994) | SWERVEDRIVER “Think I’m Gonna Feel Better (Gene Clark cover) / Reflections (The Supremes cover)“ | THURSTON MOORE “Leave Me Alone” (New Order cover) | VIVIAN GIRLS “Sludge” | WILLIAM AUSTIN CLAY “Self-Love” | WOONGI “Antiques“