The Milwaukees has bestowed us a gift. The band has recently offered a 7-song EP, titled The Vasectomies, for FREE to anyone willing to sign up to their mailing list. Hardly what I would call a bad deal!
The Vasectomies EP
The seven songs are ones they have deemed a collection of b-sides and near misses from their prior releases. I think most bands would be very pleased to have so many strong songs in their circular file.
If you are not familiar with the Milwaukees, they have been around the block. This is a seasoned group of veterans with five full length releases under their belt spanning the last 17 years. As they have aged, their sound has become more honed and listener-friendly. This is not to say that their songs are weak. They are lean, tight, and well-crafted. While all members shine in their respective roles, Dylan (lead singer) has a voice that will get into your ears. It’s hard to miss his mixture of angst and emotion in his delivery.
The EP starts with the demolishing Rock and Roll Part 3 (Gary Glitter laid claim to parts 1 and 2). Part anthem, part sinister riff rock, this is such a great lead off track. Jeff Nordstedt’s tasty guitar playing really shines.
Tracks 2 and 4, One Night Stand and Record Deal, are solid rockers. One Night Stand has a twinge of Tom Petty in there. The chorus is really catchy and the bridge has a little bit of that great Rocket From the Crypt feel. Record Deal is a cautionary tale on the industry, with another super strong chorus.
Tracks 3 and 5, Won’t Let You Down and Story of Our Love are solid ballads. They are sweet without being saccharin. Dylan’s voice makes these songs work well.
The last tracks, Jersey Style and Wasted Uptown, leave you ready for more. Jersey Style has a killer verse riff that reminds me, believe it or not, of a really good old Kiss song. Then they bring in the chorus. Damn! Another great chorus! Wasted Uptown has some great lyrics, reminiscent of something I would expect to hear from Bruce Springsteen. Love the line “Irish boys….should be polishing the marble under their feet”.
So, if you haven’t heard anything from the Milwaukees, their music is easy enough to find. Google them! All their releases are on Spotify. They’re on Facebook. On their site, Milwaukees.com, you can find the link to sign up on their mailing list and get the Vasectomies EP. Go check them out September, 9th at the Ringside in Caldwell. They put on one hell of a show.
Out Like Lambs: Dream Pop, Indie Rock? One thing that can be said about their new release, Fingers Crossed, it is beautiful. It’s the music to drink up while you take in your morning coffee. It’s the soundtrack to a rainy day. There’s music is lush without being overdone. Simultaneously, the parts can seem sparse, but never empty.
Out Like Lambs dabble in the familiar. The bands that come to mind fall into the dreamy: Luna, The Sea and The Cake, Galaxie 500. The vocals are plaintive and somber. The guitars are warm. The drums push the songs without driving too hard. Behind the foundation can be heard strings and other various instrumentation to accentuate and augment, raising the songs from simple to sublime.
Every song’s a winner, but my faves are:
· Terms & Conditions – The song has a wonderful, dark feel and then, midway through, changes feel to an anthemic and uplifting end.
· Game On – The song reminds me of Echo and the Bunnymen, whom I love! Great guitar work.
If you are in Asbury Park on August 31st, join Out Like Lambs at the Porta for their CD release party. If you’re not, maybe you should be.
Find Out Like Lambs on Facebook for more information about the upcoming show.
In case you care what I have been listening too lately (and I know you secretly lose sleep wondering)…here you go…since you insist….
Local Maplewood, NJ hometown indie rock A-Leaguers, Tri-State, continue their collective, at ease, upward momentum with their latest 5 track release , we did what we could do(2016) on the ultra-cool and equally Jersey label, Mint 400 Records . The killer riff on the opening track (and one of my personal favorites), “Summer Nun” kicks in the thruster a bit since their beautifully gliding, yet slightly subdued 2 song EP, New Minuits (2015). Again you find guitarists Julian Brash and Jeff Zelevansky trade off engrossing and seamless electric six-string conversations when not splitting vocal duties, while the complimenting percussionist union of Mason Rather (bass) and Brady McNamara (drums) keeps everything delightfully moving and grooving along. wdwwcd is simply a fun record from start to finish. It’s a perfect album on replay, tapping your foot on a sunny, sandy Miami beach while lounging lazily under palm trees, slightly concerned about falling coconuts, weird, unrecognizable birds and equally weird, unrecognizable insects (proven this past holiday weekend). Other stand out tracks include “Petty” (“boy, you got a lot to say….”), Siamese twin track “Suture”and “Automatic Man.”
My “Buffalo Bro” Daryl who I can “geek talk” music for days, weeks, even months on end (and have the never-ending text to prove it), have been digitally nudging (read: nagging) me to listen to the latest Touché Amore’ record, Stage 4 (2016) for months, but not as long as he has been nagging me to listen to Elliot Smith’sXO. I finally broke down, found time and listened…and listened…. WOW. I like it…. a lot! Based out of Los Angeles, this four-piece hardcore band found the perfect balance of familiarity and unique, of the definable and almost indefinable. They apply a unique spin on an otherwise played out genre, somehow making melodic shoe-gazey, indie rock riffs hardcore with minimum doses of extra crunchy distortion and beautifully bridging the hardcore and post-hardcore/emo sound, similar to Title Fight. Atypical singing patterns/rhythms and very deep, extremely personal thought provoking lyrics only add to their refreshing approach. The album title holds a double meaning, being the bands 4th record and also the very worse stage of cancer, a subject that rears its ugly head throughout the recording, apparently due to leader singer Jeremy Bolm losing his mom to the dreaded disease recently in 2014. The subject matter certainly sends my brain hurtling back 30 years ago when I lost my own mother in the same fashion, leaving me slightly envious that Bolm could scream about it for months on end touring and finding relief while I just buried those feelings deep down inside somewhere long ago where they mostly remain to this day. Ironically, after all this time, I can find some relief in Bolm’s circumstances and the bands music, knowing I am not the only one that ever went through such a soul-shredding event. Opening track, “Flowers and You,” “Displacement,” “Benediction,” and “Water Damage” are just some of the many great songs on this record. Check it.
The Menzingers is a Philly band I heard of a number of times but only started listening to their music because I saw they played a recent show at Garwood, NJ’s infamous Crossroads, this time nudged by the club’s Facebook page. Another 4 piece, the band plays an all too familiar sound, but they do it in a way that keeps my interest. Punk -n- Roll at its finest. The first song of theirs I got hooked on, “Remission,” off of 2014’s dour-ish Rented World, is nothing special when it comes to many other songs I subsequently discovered in their impressive catalog, but it only takes that little something to keep the tune and video on replay in my life (in this case, it’s that little “uh” leader singer Greg Barnett blurts (Accidently? Deliberately? Both?) after the first verse, or even the killer sing along chorus “Everyone needs a crutch…I need a wheel chair…I need a reason to reason with you…”). Their new record, After the Party (2017), was released just a few weeks ago and remains in heavy rotation in my life. A much cheerier release, they managed (and I slightly plagiarize from another review because I agree), to keep their street cred intact while making radio friendly songs. Check out song like “Lookers,” Mid-Western States,” “Your Wild Years,” “Black Mass” …oh, just listen to whole record, it’s great from start to finish!
Dinosaur Jr.’s latest, Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not (2016), is also filed under easy listening in my life. For die-hard fans, this is a typical, predictable record for the original band lineup, and that is just perfectly dandy for us. Interestingly, a little bird (i.e. drummer Murph) mentioned in an interview that GAGOWYN came to life because J. Mascis “freaked out” about not having any new songs and quickly threw some together. Many in the know would agree that the thought of J. losing his shit is hard to imagine, considering he never seems to have a pulse and really quiet during interviews. And when he does say something it is quite clear why he constantly accused of being a stoner (which he isn’t, at least according to him). Yes, the final results sound rushed when knowing this little back story, but the results are still rockingly impressive. Standouts include the opener “Going Down, “I Told Everyone” and “Tiny” but my favorites are “Lost All Day” right into “Knocked Around.”
The Cloud Nothings is another band I was slow on the draw about until I stumbled upon their latest release, Life Without Sound(2017). An incredibly solid listen from start to finish. It took me multiple listens on many runs final figure out what I love about this band/record: I can’t pigeonhole this band because they don’t sound like any other band that I heard of. I can’t honestly think of any other band that the Cloud Nothings sound like. Offering a completely refreshing, catchy indie sound. they mix the perfect blend of melody with umph…what’s not to like? Such tracks as the piano-tinged opener “Up to the Surface” and “Internal World” are pretty rocking tunes.
ALBUM REVIEW: Happy Accidents by Delicate Flowers can best be described as gridy pop-folk that goes beyond the beard. There I said it, otherwise I would have categorized it as bedroom rock written by Eric Goldberg but instead he did the right thing Not releasing the demo’s from his creepy sad Daddy Mansion in Green Point; he made a proper solo album and recorded in Wayne, New Jersey’s Skyler Ross Recording (Happy Irony?)- We don’t know.
The canvas as whole is a wash of singer song writer insights. “Break Me Wide Open” is when Happy Accidents is this record paints a very vividly a single line indie rock anthem; from something you would find on a Deep Elm comp back in the 90’s with just a chorus to satisfy the hurt you might feel from a regular break-up song. The opener “Dissolution” does what a first track should do and brings you into his relationship struggle cubby-hole setting up your expectations. Song for song the struggle is real, glossy poetic with “Vaseline”, a slick middle three chord pop song discussing struggle of hiding those things called feelings(do a search on twitter and whole world will open up on this subject in it’s own joke format), where as he might just be editing the deeper hurtful parts when he sings na-na-na-nas to further cover up hurt and blurring of the lens. We don’t know but we certainly feel it and that makes this record gracious. Maybe evening sounding a little bit like Allanis’s bad break-up with that bad comedian from Full House. I joke only because there are feelings and good lyric writing through out is meant to relate to the listening through all the tools. “It’s Easy to Love a Martyr” is when we get to it’s most reverb laden Oasis center. All good in many ways and influences through-out I just really get this and it’s a totally a panty dropper. Probably the highest compliment and rating we might be able to give out here at RS and definitely a high-watermark for this year coming from the Sniffling Indie Kids label.
LABEL: SNIFFLING INDIE KIDS RIYL: The Comas, Cymbals Eat Guitars, Dax Riggs, Elliot Smith, Jason Molina
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Good mix of punk and dash-pop reggea-ish james like Sublime from this band called nosnow/noalps. A keyboard used in a way that I cant it because the vocals are distorted and this band from Malta just plain rocks my ass. Here’s a two part rock video single. Side A is ” Go Go Go Go” and the flip which is eqaully as baddass is a song called “Black Panther” whichis about partying until you drop. My geoagraphy is bad but the scenery is beuatiful in these cobble stone streets. The video chrome-look treatment is nice as well. Very well done.
nosnow/noalps – Go Go Go Go
nosnow/noalps – Black Panther
I dont’t know much about the indie rock scene in Lima, Peru but this group Neuman two songs “Battle Starship” and “Turn it” are pretty great. We think you should give them a chance from an album called ‘If‘. A pop mix of Interpol and Mercromina from Spain.
Here’s the latest singles and bands to watch with some really great tunes and sounds from the US and across the pond.
Recently added to the Mint 400 Records roster is a fast mod psyche band called Yes Sunshine from Coventry,England. We think they embody that fast paced feel we dig from UK type bands like Pete and The Pirates and a more polished version of The Jam.
Here’s a quick 5 question interview with the band Yest Sunshine to peak your interest. They will be featured on the coming Mint 400 Records Compilation “Patchwork” which is due out this September! So watch our twitter space for more.
What genre of music do you consider your work to be? Who are your major influences?
Well we consider our music to be a mixture of indie,rock,and punk. We are heavily influenced by artists such Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes, Oasis, Pixies, Libertines and of course The Beatles. What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?)
Well our songs are mainly about, social observations, experiences, teenage angst, and I guess you could say of course love and girls.
What are the differences you see between US rock and British rock at the present moment?
At present we are really enjoying the current New York scene. Bands like Skaters and Drowners are really influencing us. I think there is a visible punk vibe at the minute that new wave UK bands are representing more than US bands.
What has been your biggest challenge as a songwriters? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so, how?
The biggest challenge has been over coming the brick wall. Some days nothing clicks, tensions run high and you can’t even string a sentence of lyrics together. We find that the process of song writing can’t be forced. If it’s going to happen, it will happen when it’s ready. When it does, everything falls into place and everything flows. There’s a buzz and you know you’ve got a worthy song.
What advice do you have for people who want to form their own bands?
Be committed. Make the necessary sacrifices. Never give up. And practice, practice, practice.
Psyche, Grunge, Alternative rock whatever it is if it has distortion delivered like Friendly Faux we like it and if they “don’t make any rights” is what I’m usually known to say to my driver when I’m skunk drunk I think we’ll get along here people. We’re super simple this way especially if the bass player is digging in like he is in this mother fucker. Seriously, check out these Columbus Ohio rocksters who can swing the blues big time if they want and rock it out with a few classic arena rock Alice in Chains type backing vocals but yet keep it dirty like a diesel monster truck drag racing down main street. I’m a sucker for power trios and these guys hit it and quit it in all the right places with their no frills rock. These tunes are from their second digital release EP called Three Lefts and we think you should grab the whole thing from them on their bandcamp. The s/t lead track is the dope we’re talking about and make it one louder.
Next up is the UK’s Colour of Bone – which is this weird electronic mix of big house bass romp and roc-rave music on their single called “THE SUPERSTITIOUS TWIST”; whilst I’m not sure why all songs must yell at me in capital letters. This one at 80hz is sure to leave you a little deaf perhaps. The artwork is explosive in that BIG DATA kind of way but i guess people like their head exploding. Classify ‘Sympathiser’ under Alt-Elec-Rock along with your mescaline and speed. This music brings out certain musical texture you don’t actually need to be high to understand. It grunges out when need when the Beasties bring that beat around.
I don’t know much about this electronic slow dub project called Drunk Robots from Portugal but I like it. Here’s a track called “have you seen my glasses” from the 22 track album organiosed. Good experimentation with noise, ambient sounds and electronic rock. Pretty mellow but not put you to sleep mellow. Creepy yet carries a melody like Air intrumentals. Drop-off and explore Drunk Robots.
“Fortune and Fate” by Ryan Joseph Anderson from his record The Weaver’s Broom, which was recorded in Nashville by engineer/producer Andrja Tokic (known for his work with Alabama Shakes). Good alt country. Very dark stop motion video which is back by a great whiskey voice teetering on to raspy but much better than Deer Tick’s country swagger. We like this Ryan Joseph Anderson fella.
Ok now you know what to do and like this so your mom can see what you do with your day on Facebook. Thanks!
We’re not going to call a EP sized music offering a EP anymore. We’re just going to thank the artists for omitting the 2nd half of the album or maybe the bad bits when we can. Pet Names lead off track “Empty Fortune Cookie” from their release Missed Connections and following “Something I said” are a good intro to this band. Has the formula and “unpunk” hooks we liked so many moons ago about Green Day. A working mans band that leaves off the fluff but keep the nuts and bolts of the tune in tac. If we hate it we’ll just talk about the “single” and then ask for the check. Pet Names is straight up good indie rock. Rock from Wilmington North Carolina to be precise. Little did they know (maybe they did) that their beach town has a special place in our heart. We learned what Indie rock was all about from our friend Kenyata Sullivan. What good friends you could make 100’s of miles away from your home eventhough they live 10 blocks away.
Anyway, Missed Connections is totally about unpunk connections we make -either by chance or dumb fucking luck. Basically indie rock well disguised as song craft in wolfs cloths. This record makes it count but that is the stuff you cant describe until you get into it a few laps. Vaguely familiar story lines that don’t throw a jab and don’t undermine your choice of brew at the bar. Throw in a acoustic song and before you know it your not cool like us. It’s better -They will be huge so don’t forget to breath in the proces because it will be over before you know it and you’ll hit play again or flip the tape– Whatever happens in the future. You ‘ve just been consumed by a good band laying it down. No gimmicks. Just rock-n-roll. What music discovery is supposed to be like here at the review stalker music blog. We look forward to more. You can totally name your price on their bandcamp page so throw them a couple bux in their guitar case. They deserve it. Alright Fifi?
A great assortment of free mp3 for you today. We have music from Poland, Chicago and Sweden. Something for everybody here from Americana to soul crushing gothic pop all mixed up. Some of these tunes will make for that awesome mix-tape of yours that you’ve been dying to make for that hot chick or dope dude.
SINGLE: Pedal Distorsionador – Is like godflesh went all disco on you. Lots of thick noise manipulation if you can imagine. A dark looming guttural gothic voice is put in place to scare you, but you don’t scare. You love horror films. You like Leatherface or latex. You think he’s sexy and it’s the only way you get off. You’ll like this but first we must tie you up. You don’t like blood but like being constrained. You are weird. This music takes you to the edge. To that dark place down you go straight away. I think this place may be Gdynia, Poland. Facebook
Arc Rev One – On the other end of the spectrum of late nights. Which are really when the rest of us are going to work. I imagine people go and listen to music like this. Also wearing latex underneath their cloths, trippin and talking about their vampire implants. Seriously this is space sound track music for lunar spaceports. Let play in the background and it will elevate you. DOWNLOAD:Sala Daeng MP3 from Twiggy Scratch & the Miders from Spars (2013)
Martin Van Ruin – Bob Dylan meets Neutral Milk Hotel in a mid-western bar submerged in violins and whiskey. This is a great jam. Uplifting how this type of music should be. These Chicago-ians throw it down. The rest of the release is heavy folk rock and I don’t use that term loosely because most that music is pure garbage. On other tracks with big drums laying down on a track called “Wilderness” which has well balanced backing female vocals and slides to support their slithering tempos (solid timing). Good musicians making quality Americana for the people like you and me order beers within our budget for the week. Somewhat reminds me of Los Halos.
Emil and Caroline – Make music something like Bjork, disjointed but in sync. I might even hip my daughters to this dreamy Swedish single “Singing In A Choir” because it’s not a regular type of song but you will probably hear it in the club tonight — somewhere around the world. Apparently they were singers who in their younger years were part of a black gospel choir from Camden, New Jersey. Weird Swedes. There is some sense of soul in here. Listen follow them on the facebooks.
Saintseneca – “Happy Alone”From Anti Record. Debut album Dark Arc coming on April 1. I love this video. Bubble head man stuck with his bubble head doing every day things a man with a bubble head will do. Well done. The song is good too!
VIDEO OF THE DAY: Youtuber Tasha R claims she made this Superchunk video of their song “FOH” for her son because “he loves legos!” The band’s drummer Jon Wurster says on the facebook they don’t know her. Now we don’t know if her next one will be Kraftwerk backed by Erector sets but time will tell where this goes. It’s really fun stop gap motion 9-fiver storyline and you know how “projects” go when you are doing them for your kid(s). Your more into than they are but this turned out great. Never under estimate the power of the brick.
” God, I remember when the Brick Haus would only book Zeppelin cover bands and Star Wars characters.”