Artist: Furrowed Brow
EP: Dead Dead Dead Still Digging
Genre: Post-Punk/Art Rock/Indie Rock
Label: Notes From Underground
With an infinite supply of wit and a deliciously sardonic sense of humor, Manchester band “Furrowed Brow” have given us their debut E.P. Dead Dead Dead Still Digging. Is this a gift, or a curse? Well, are you fluent in sarcasm? Can you handle lyrical content expressed from the point of view of someone who is being both cynical and ironically hopeful while they lay the absurdity of us humans flat out on the table? Can you handle the idea that the listener, myself included might completely misinterpret their music while the meaning goes over our witless heads? Can you handle the idea that you might delve too far into the lyrical content to decipher meanings that might not even be there? If this is confusing to you, then I can assume you’re not interested. Carry on. If an unclassifiable combination of Punk with glamour, a brazen humor, colorful synths that evoke the spirit of bands such as Magazine or Live at the Witch Trials era The Fall, strong Manchester lingo, and a vocal delivery glamorously rambled like Mark E. Smith with glitter, then this is an album for you. This music has no boundaries, and yet, it’s not shock for shock’s sake. There is a method to their madness. There is a reason why they made a track like “Killed Myself and the Kids” so damn catchy to the point where it’ll have you walking around singing along to the chorus for days while people raise their eyebrows at you, (I wouldn’t recommend doing that) and it’s up to you to find the reasons why. As for me, I see them as a fearless and refreshing band that brings a relentless bite back to Rock & Roll. A band as intelligent as they are appreciative in comedy while they analyze the human condition in a cleverly satirical way instead of waving their fingers at us. They’re classy, but not afraid to rough us up a bit, and that’s a juxtaposition you don’t usually see in contemporary music. I’m excited, but I also feel a little insulted, and I love it.
Written By: Steven Sandoval
Genre: Indie Rock/Post-Punk/Noise Rock
It’s hard speaking about mental illness sometimes. The fear of alienation from others is something that plagues your mind when dealing with a mental illness. That along with overwhelming feelings of self-doubt, self-hatred, nihilism, depression, and existentialism are all things that can prevent someone from letting people in, but one creative outlet to exorcise your demons is music, and Bristol UK based band “Mazmere” most definitely face the cycles of mental illness head-on with no compromise on their new E.P. MBJDEBNRBM. This music is pure raw energy with manically noisy instrumentation that perfectly reflects lead singer Jake Sinetos’ deep dive into the darker parts of the human mind. You know, the parts you try to ignore and distract yourself from with whatever form of escapism you fancy. This music can be ugly, but I mean that in the kindest way possible, because ugly music isn’t always a bad thing, in fact there is much beauty to find in macabre art. The beauty in this E.P. is found in its fearless lyrical content that instead of coming off sounding like a motivational speech, tackles the complexities of your inner-voice that isn’t always so optimistic. That in itself is uplifting, because once you embrace your demons and continue to fight them, you can seriously take on anything, and the representation of that through this music is exhausting yet liberating. This is most prominently expressed on the track “Skeletons.” “This house is full of medicine that gives you no cure. You’re bouncing off the walls again. You’re twisted with fear. Fear of yourself is worse than what is real, so find your demon, and cut him a deal” sings Sinetos. This is the albums biggest tearjerker as our protagonist gives us a tour of this cycle in his mind, a cycle that isn’t for the faint of heart, but is necessary to understand those less mentally fortunate. Once this track erupts with its musical climax, it’s hard not to feel like you’re floating as your demons either begin to decay, or ride with you. It all depends on your interpretation. Without sounding too inaccessible, this E.P. is brutally honest, and that’s something we should all strive to explore in music.
Written By: Steven Sandoval
In this time of isolation, it’s comforting to hear something new from one of the most captivating artists in music at the moment. Today Kristin Hayter under her LINGUA IGNOTA project has shared a fantastically epic new song titled “O Ruthless Great Divine Director” for “Adult Swim,” and it’s a grandiose and uncompromising piece of art both lyrically and musically. About the track Hayter says “O Ruthless Great Divine Director” both addresses and embodies the hypocrite and the false prophet. The sanctimonious scene police, the friend or community who will turn away or against when things get hard, fear mongering and pervasive misinformation. It was a great pleasure to have Greg Fox’s incredible talent on this song, and to work with Seth Manchester again at the console.” You can listen to “O Ruthless Great Divine Director” below:
Jehnny Beth released her new single “Flower” last week, a track that will appear on her upcoming album To Love Is To Live which will be released on May 8th, and today she has given us a Valentine’s Day gift, a music video for the song. The video is immensely erotic and definitely not safe for work. It finds Beth exploring her sexuality and it also features Rebeka Adams. The music video perfectly reflects the sexual yet cryptic nature of the song’s content of a stripper Beth may be falling for and wanting to get closer to. The meaning isn’t quite clear, because their are some lyrical curveballs, but I don’t think the song is meant to be completely understood. Like the best poetry, it’s open for interpretation. You can watch the Anthony Byrne directed music video below:
The rumors have been confirmed. “The Strokes” are returning with a new album on April 10th via “RCA Records” titled The New Abnormal. Today the band have released the album’s first single “At the Door,” a synth-heavy and surprisingly percussionless track that finds lead singer Julian Casablancas delivering one of his most gut-wrenching vocal performances yet. If you’re expecting Is This It, you’re going to be disappointed, because the band are continuing to move forward and adopt new sounds. They’ve never been the nostalgic type. They find new ways to reinvent themselves, and that’s what separates them from the other bands that were in their class in the early 2000’s. That’s why we still pay attention. The New Abnormal will be the band’s first release since their 2016 E.P. Future Present Past, and their first full-length album since 2013’s Comedown Machine. You can watch the music video for “At the Door” below:
Album: West of Eden
Genre: Art Pop/Synth-Pop/Post-Punk/Electronic/Glam Rock
Label: Lucky Number
After waiting for what felt like an eternity, “HMLTD” have finally released their debut album West of Eden. Following their string of genre-bending singles dating as far back as 2016, it’s impressive to see how much the band have evolved. They once were the band to watch, the band at the top of everyone’s “up and comer” list, garnering a following with their energetic live shows and refusal to stay in one lane as far as genres go. You can hear elements of Synth-Pop, Post-Punk, Electronic, Goth, and their sound is topped off with immense theatricality thanks to lead singer Henry Spychalski’s raucous vocals that are as colorful as they are ear-splitting, and let’s not forget the band’s glamorous look that is equal parts Marilyn Manson and Club Kid. After years and years of anticipation, a large chunk of singles, a Synth-Pop heavy EP, and the unfortunate dropping of the band from “Sony Music,” the band’s debut album had to live up to a high expectation, and my God does it live up to it. Upon first listen, the surprise factor may be absent with some songs due to the fact that we’ve been listening to them for years. “To the Door,” “Satan, Luella, & I,” and “Death Drive,” were all released before we even knew the name of the album, (or if an album was coming out for that matter) but compiled with the album’s newer deep cuts, the songs flow nicely within the context of the album, and they never feel like filler tracks. West of Eden has a consistent “Western” style to it, sounding like a Glammed-out Ennio Morricone, and it’s fitting seeing as how much of the album’s material is a rejection of Western culture and social norms, and the band abrasively yet fabulously tackle these themes. Think “Death Grips” with glitter. As important as these themes are to the band, they never lose their sense of fun or sense of humor. With lyrics like “I sold my soul to The Devil tonight because I was pretty fucking poor” on the track “Loaded” and the graphically absurd telling of the murder of an imaginary friend on “Where’s Joanna?” the band aren’t afraid to confuse you with lush and innovative “Pop” that will make you laugh and sing-along while you question your morals. So what makes this album so important? it’s musically forward-thinking, introducing the “Pop” world to a myriad of experimental ideas, it’s well-produced and cleverly blends genres that don’t normally go together, and it has a Rock star personality that throws out the testosterone-filled, misogynistic, and macho clichés that have poisoned the genre in favor of introducing new ideas of feminism, rejection of tradition, and sentiment. Not to mention, these songs are catchy as Hell.
Written By: Steven Sandoval
After much anticipation and patience patience patience, we now have a release date to look forward to for “Sorry’s” upcoming debut album 925. The album will be released on March 27th via “Domino Records.” Today the band have shared a new single titled “More,” and just like their previous singles it’s a catchy tune that finds the band refusing to compromise their lyrically honest and inward looking sound that frequently genre bends. You can watch the music video for “More” below:
On this day in 1979 “Pink Floyd” released their legendary Rock opera The Wall. Though this was the point where member Roger Waters took it upon himself to take complete control of the band, which slowly diminished the rest of the band’s creative input, (he even fired pivotal member Richard Wright) this album still came out to be one of music’s most iconic concept albums. This album is an extensive cinematic experience that tells the story of a burnt out Rock star named Pink who begins to isolate himself from society which leads to his descent into madness. The character of Pink was based on Roger Waters himself and former member Syd Barrett. The album can be a bit pretentious, but the narrative of Pink’s mental downfall is captivating. The instrumentation was a lot more stripped back, which made room for the album’s narrative, but the theatrical and climactic moments added to the intensity of the album. In my opinion this was the band’s final masterpiece, but it also was the point where the band slowly began to fall apart, regardless of the creative differences and egos that plagued the band, their discography is the stuff of innovative legends, and The Wall is one of the best concept albums ever recorded. Happy Anniversary.
On this day in 1979 Public Image Ltd. (PiL) released their second album Second Edition. The album was originally released as Metal Box, taking it’s name from the metal canister that contained pressings of the record. A standard version was later released as Second Edition which featured the same tracklist. On this album lead singer John Lydon pushed his ambition to shed the restrictions of Punk Rock, which became too commercialized and one-dimensional even further by incorporating elements of Dub, Post-Punk, and Krautrock, all of which were no-go territory for Punk Rock purists. This was the last album to feature original bassist Jah Wobble, and though the band still thrived following his departure, Wobble’s input is irreplaceable on this album with his Dub/Funk inspired bass grooves which complimented Keith Levene’s wall of disjointed guitar sounds and John Lydon’s wailing vocals perfectly. Second Edition is an essential album in the Post-Punk world. Happy Anniversary.
Post-Punk band “Ganser” will release a new E.P. titled You Must Be New Here on November 8th. This will follow their stellar debut album Odd Talk which was released last year. The band previously released a single titled “Bad Form,” and they recently appeared at “Riot Fest” in Chicago, and now it’s looking like the band won’t be slowing down anytime soon. Today the band have shared a new song off the upcoming E.P. titled “Buio” which is accompanied by a music video featuring actress Caitlin Ewald. In the video Ewald sits at a dinner table with cake and wine. She proceeds to mash her fingers in the cake while the others at the table seem to be ignoring her. This could represent the idea of an outsider being overwhelmed having to endure fast-paced social interaction, but Ewald lets her self go by not repressing her impulse to…. well, mash her fingers in cake and chug wine, and she does it without a care in the world. About the song, the band describe it as an “intuitive song about the relationship between author and audience.” You can always rely on “Ganser” to provoke thought with intelligent and introspective content. You can watch the music video for “Buio” below: