GG Doom

GG DOOM
‘But How?’
(MF DOOM Remixes)

Not everybody would get away with this but the fine skills of producer Grip Grand has merged MF Doom’s unique vocals to a mix of TV, radio and film samples and applied some tasty, lo-fi beats that will leave you salivating for more.

As Doom says sampled in here: “You gotta give this bum some props”. GG Doom‘s ‘But How?’ is a freebie, so get down there and download it whilst it’s still hot from here.

Parquet Courts

Parquet Courts
‘Light Up Gold’
(Dull Tools)

The words Parquet Courts may not mean much to most just yet, but punk and indie listeners on both sides of the Atlantic are going to get a fine taste of pure American post-teen rock rowdiness coming their way soon.

This New York four piece throw out pumped-up attitude with the passion and devotion for great, original rock music before coating it with the texture and flavour of a steak done rare. The band previously released a 4-track EP which was exclusively available on cassette and have followed that with a stunning fifteen track LP titled ‘Light Up Gold’ that pays homage to the likes of the 80’s US post punk scene and has the drive of the very best indie out there.

Vocalist Andrew Savage leads the pack with gritty, iconic vocals on opener ‘Master of My Craft’. His lazy style emanates the East Coast’s post-punk scene beautifully and he also delivers some pretty tasty lyrics too.

Parquet Court’s personality shines with every snare that drummer Max Savage makes. Don’t assume the brothers are doing all the hard work though, the marvelous rhythm, lively guitar and driving bass fuse together to move with soul in ‘Tears O Plenty’. What really works on this full length though are the jagged chords that are filtered with a vintage fashion in ‘Borrowed Time’, ‘Yr No Stoner’ and the absolutely must have: ‘Stoned And Starving’. This record has a wide variety of tunes that include the moody ‘N Dakota’ and gratifying melodies in tracks such as ‘Disney P.T’ plus title track ‘Light Up Gold’.

This album is one of the most exciting finds of the year so far. Look out for them this week as they cruise through London to play three debut shows. If their live sets are as spiky as on tape, then you will be in for a treat.

Jenny Chu

Pissed Jeans

‘Honeys’
Sub Pop
ALBUM OF THE MONTH

pissedjeans_honeysalbumThere’s a reason why Black Flag are so heralded and respected so long after they existed by younger generations. It’s not just the fact that they had a cool logo, it was also their inspiring drive and energy that, against all odds, saw them power their utterly uncompromising and original noise at a time when long hair, tattoos and punk rock was not a career option. They sounded the way they did because that’s how they felt and how they wanted to express their feelings. Pissed Jeans are no Black Flag tribute band, but there’s something about their ridiculously heavy punk rock noise and venomous approach that makes you feel if Black Flag had existed in this frustrating, jittering modern world, this is what they’d sound like.

Four albums in, Pennsylvanian quartet Pissed Jeans have mellowed NONE. ‘Honeys’ is a raging barrage of noise that goes nose-to-nose with all of the essential BLACKS (Big/Sabbath/Flag) with a stomping Jesus Lizard strut and a boot boy Negative Approach stomp. This is nasty music with a production so viciously heavy It’ll bite your fucking nose off, send warm jets of piss running down your thighs and render pretty much all of what passes for punk rock these days obsolete.

So, for young and old gazing into the past with rose-tinted glasses wishing there was bands as intense and FOR REAL as Black Flag still playing, fuck the nostalgia, there is and they’re called Pissed Jeans. Now hear them roar.

Download the amazing riff heavy ‘Cathouse’ track for free here.

James Sherry

Trail of Dead

‘Lost Songs’
Superball Music

Facebook

AndYouWillKnowUsByTheTrailOfDeadLostSongsAnd You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead are arguably the most consistent alternative rock band of all time. Formed back in 1995, the two members that formed the band have never delivered an album that you can fob off. All of their eight studio projects have delivered their unique sound at the highest level mixing apocolyptic guitar punk with rock and roll at the highest level and then stripping it down to melodic undertones big enough to fill a desert.

This endless quest that Jason Reece and Conrad Keely have been on since meeting in Hawaii all those years ago, through non-stop touring, smashing equiptment and giving their all at every show brings us to today’s unveiling of their new video for ‘Lost Songs‘. It was filmed over six weeks on three continents in nearly twenty countries proving just how much this band put into their quest to share their music. It’s the title track from their new album featuring two minutes of rolling drums and lost souls and even though it may not be the strongest song on the album, it’s a perfect introduction before hearing the mammoth ‘Catatonic’ that you can hear below.

The record was dedicated to Pussy Riot when released last year, pick it up here and support this band as they have supported our ears superbly for years.

Parkway Drive

PARKWAY DRIVE
‘Atlas’

[Epitaph]

After creating an exceptional album with ‘Deep Blue’ expectations are high for Parkway Drive‘s November 2012 full length release ‘Atlas‘. Having such a large and passionate fan-base, Parkway Drive could put out a duff record and it still be widely adored, but there is no need for concern as the Australian quintet have yet again composed an astounding record.

Despite moving away from the completely conceptual approach of ‘Deep Blue’, Parkway Drive stick to the same format as other releases and open with an instrumental piece that slowly builds expectation when dark lyrics capture attention. Anticipation is intensely hanging in the air as ‘Old Ghosts / New Regrets’ roars into action with a driven speed that demands a mosh-pit to open.

Noting the success of the anthemic ‘Home Is For The Heartless’ from their last album, Parkway Drive have offered a few more dramatic and powerful moments which will surely cause unity at a live show. ‘The River’ and ‘Wild Eyes’ could easily fill a stadium whilst title-track ‘Atlas’ includes some exciting moments that reflect Bleeding Through’s orchestral approach.

If old-school, meaty Parkway Drive riffs are what you are crave there are still several tracks that cater for those hungry needs including ‘Sleigh of Hand’ which hosts licks similar to ‘Idols And Anchors’. And for those after a fast-paced assault on the ears, look no further than one of the closing tracks ‘Snake Oil And Holy Water’ which is sure to rip a new one into any venue.

As a whole ‘Atlas’ encompasses the true essence of what every fan loves about Parkway Drive. It could be seen as a more polished version of ‘Killing With A Smile’ whilst embracing the mature moments of ‘Deep Blue’.

Parkway Drive aren’t doing anything unconventional, they aren’t re-writing metalcore; they are continuing to define it. Each album the band produce develops over time as a milestone in the genre, in a few years time ‘Atlas’ will be reflected upon in the same inspiring light as all of their other works. Ultimately, Parkway Drive continue to set the standard in metalcore, a marker in musical excellence that very few others will reach.

Words: Emma Wallace

Sharks

No Gods
(Rise Records)

In Sharks’ debut full-length, they’ve married an old-school punk spirit with a love of bands like Joy Division and Nick Cave. Creating an aesthetic steeped in punk rock influences like The Clash and The Buzzcocks but with a lighter more radio friendly feel, Sharks are definitely going to be winning over more fans this year. The band have been busy working the US hard on tour with the likes of Social Distortion. But in the UK they’ll be hitting the road with indie darlings Tribes. Their touring partners certainly reflect the flexibility of their sound and the ability for their rousing working class anthems to fit into numerous scenes and genres. Sharks also have ground in common with the likes of The Gaslight Anthem as they purvey a similarly accessible punk-infused brand of simple rock songs.

James Mattock’s earnest vocals are endearing and take turns with some pure rocking guitar riffs which are simple but wholly encompass the band’s approach – straightforward songwriting with catchy tunes and subtle instrumentation. Lead single ‘Arcane Effigies’ is a lilting number with minimal lyrical content but a charm that draws you in. ‘Luck’ features some beautiful-sounding guitar patterns that although they’re very prominent, blend perfectly into the texture of the music and exhilarate the listener in what is otherwise a fairly downbeat track.

Somewhat of an anomaly on US label Rise Records’ roster (primarily known for its championing of various metalcore bands), there is definitely something retro about Sharks. But in the best possible way. They’ll definitely have your feet tapping and before you know it you’ll be singing along with as much heart as is present in this debut from the band.

Winegums.

Mayer Hawthorne

How Do You Do
(Universal Republic)

When he burst onto the scene a couple of years ago, Mayer Hawthorne was something of an unknown quantity to most. Some eagle-eyed hip hop fans recognised him as DJ Haircut of Now On but this new smooth, Motown styled persona was certainly a change from his normal routine. Now known more for his debut album A Strange Arrangement than any of his group work, Hawthorne has gone to Universal from revered hip hop label Stones Throw, but those fearing a change in output can rest easy – the new album is definitely one for fans of its predecessor.

Tales of love abound throughout the release, whether it’s falling for a girl, being in love or suffering from the acrimonious split. From the opening track Get To Know You where he describes his wish to find out more about the object of his affection in order to “get it on tonight” to the Snoop-guested Can’t Stop which documents the struggle to let feelings for the girl go to the instantly catchy The News which turns the tables and blames the girl on the split – “What we had, was all I knew / What we lost, was all on you / I’ve got news for you, we’re through”.

The music isn’t complex, but that’s its most potent weapon. Short stabby horns and bouncy drums surround Hawthorne’s voice as he brings to mind all the greats from a bygone era. With closed eyes, this could easily have been made in Motor City by the legends and stands Hawthorne alongside contemporaries like Raphael Saadiq in achieving such an accolade.

This is feel good music, whatever the weather, once these tunes hit, it’s sunshine and smiles. What might have started off as a jokey side-project is now a thoroughly respectable and enjoyable career.

Abjekt.

Sainthood Reps

Monoculture
Tooth & Nail Records

The debut from Sainthood Reps is at times lush and dreamy, at times a full-on barrage of riffs, but always beautifully chord crunching and satisfyingly grungey. Guitarist Derrick is also in Brand New and the sound of BN’s last two albums (and the Long Island scene in general) is certainly recognizable within the Sainthood Reps texture.

However, SR take the quirkier side that Brand New have toyed with in recent years and just run with it. It’s hard to describe Monoculture as anything other than a great rock record, thus it has evaded any pesky “emo” stereotyping where Brand New will forever be plagued by that term and its now-negative connotations.

Monoculture kicks off with serious intent and an absolute belter of a riff that demands to be played loud. The vocals join the fray with an angry swagger which grips you from the get-go. This album is filled to the brim with crushing riffs and crashing drum patterns but there are also moments of sincerely silicate beauty.

Hotfoot’ is the perfect representation to both these sides of the band, showcasing both the Jekyll and the Hyde if you will. There’s an insistent and relentless feel throughout this album and even when the quiet beauty surfaces, it’s always accompanied by a menacing undertone where you can’t quite figure out what’s coming next or when the huge guitar riffs are going to come thundering back in.

Parts indie rock, parts grunge and parts something you can’t quite put your finger on, this debut is a wholly satisfying listen. Sure, most of the elements are not totally original, but the way Sainthood Reps have crafted the elements has produced something almost ethereal. This is really an intense yet listenable rock record with both hooks and plenty of intrigue. Hopefully we’ll see a lot more of these guys in the future.

Winey G.

Holiday Makers by sainthoodreps

DINGUS by sainthoodreps

Monoculture by sainthoodreps

Vacationer Paradise mixtape

vacationer_mixtapeRemember us buzzing the Vacationer ‘Trip’ track back in May? Well, the most secretive band in the world are hard at it in a studio in the Eastern Seaboard right now working on their debut album but have also found time to drop this summer mixtape.

If you are looking for some tropical delights, a range of dub reggae, Nu-Hula and much more then don;t hesitate, click that play button, or download the entire file and take it away.

This mixtape is suitable for sunwashed picnics with your best friends, lazy Sunday afternoon nookie and also bubble baths. Get stuck in…

Vacationer-paradise mix by Vacationer

White Fence

Is Growing Faith
Woodsist Records

whitefence_isgrowingfaithIf you have been following our albums of the year in the last few years then you would remember that Darker My Love albums have always made it into the Top 10. Tim Presley, the songwriter from that band cannot stop writing and it’s his latest album project on Woodsist that is this week’s recomendation if you dig your psychedelic folk and nuggets rock.

Presley has an ability to drag your attention back into the golden days of classic songwriting and warm production values, taking hits with the greats from past generations such from Pink Floyd and 13th Floor Elevators, to Love and The Remains. White Fence is his 3rd project following Darker My Love and The Strange Boys which dips its laid back, rock and roll roots into a warped world of reverbed guitars, psychedelic noise and lo-fi, dream streams.

The album kicks off with the tweaked guitar riffs of ‘And By Always’ that conjures the very best of Westernised, (a band fronted by songwriter Colin MacIntyre more famous for his Mull Historical Society project) mixed with the sounds of old Santa Cruz Skateboards video soundtracks. It’s fascinating just how prolific this guy is, year in year out. It’s like he doesn’t sleep and instead, sits up, smokes bongs and becomes the 5th Beatle when it suits. Presley delves into Beatles-esque dittys that feel like they have been forced through a blender with a bunch of 70’s flowers and Tame Impala’s reverb-splashed vocals. The end result takes you back in time, but only to the goodtimes. The ones that you only remember when the sky’s are awash with sunbeams, captured on 8mm tapes and look burnt at the edges.

The haters out there who reckon Presley just wants to live out the John Lennon and Paul McCartney phenomenon can be heard all over the internet but once you get past the obvious influences on this record, it’s hard to not give credit where it’s due. Mainly because Is Growing Faith is another well crafted production from a man who obsesses on delivering some darn good tunes that always have a plethora of musical surprises.

If you dig the likes of Ganglians, Deerhoof, The Shutes, Kelley Stoltz and obviously Darker My Love then give this a spin. It oozes psychedelic delight and would be accompanied well with a double dip tab of the best sheets in town. Have a taster from this fan made video clip.