The Alt Weekly Roundup (10/16)

Posted: by The Editor

The Alternative Weekly Roundup is a column where our staff plugs a variety of new releases in a concise, streamlined format. Albums, singles, videos, and live sets. Check back each Monday to see what we were jamming the week prior.

Trauma Ray / Downward – Split

Fort Worth’s Trauma Ray and Tulsa’s Downward are easily two of the best bands crafting their own unique blend of alternative rock right now and their newest split features two new songs from each band. “Halley” and “Tracers” picks up where Trauma Ray left off on their Transmissions EP with hypnotic and chunky Hum-like riffs topped with bright flourishing melodies, while Downward’s emotionally driven and brooding tracks “Siren” and “The Waltz” offers up an equally transcendent listen. The first pressing of the split is available to order on vinyl through New Morality Zine.

Loan Pham | @x_loanp

HUNNY – “ring in ur ear (ft. Justin Courtney Pierre)”

Indie pop band HUNNY has a new album out on Epitaph Records titled new planet heaven. One of the masterpieces on it is “ring in ur ear” featuring vocalist Justin Courtney Pierre of Motion City Soundtrack. You can hear the touch that the MCS vocalist put on the song as the upbeat, lofi punk song bursts with feel-good energy.

Jazmin Lemus | @_Jazmin

Pacing – Real poetry is always about plants and birds and trees and the animals and milk and honey breathing in the pink but real life is behind a screen

As the title suggests, Pacing’s new album Real poetry is always about plants and birds and trees and the animals and milk and honey breathing in the pink but real life is behind a screen is full of witty, off-center lyrical images (“my phone is glued to my face surgically” kicking off the jam-packed-with-great-lines “Have you tried meditation?” might be my favorite). That off-center approach also shines through in the instrumental ideas where even the songs that follow traditional verse-chorus patterns avoid a sense of repetition through the different musical choices—handclaps, electric guitars that are crunchy at times and clean at others, bouncy piano, thumping bass, fingerpicked acoustics, sneaky strings and shakers—that give the songs a feeling of organic growth. The whole album hits, but it’s the break from the relative lightheartedness on the rest of the record that occurs when “So Stupid” slows things down and reveals a layer of darkness mirroring the lightheartedness that truly stuns, showing songwriter Katie McTigue’s ability to burrow under your skin with a collection of images.

Aaron Eisenreich | @slobboyreject

Dual Neutral – 3 Small Shadows

On the 3 Small Shadows EP, the follow-up to last year’s Year of the Locust, Dual Neutral offers up three cuts of spiky, endlessly catchy tracks. The duo settle into a sound not terribly far off from the one gaining steam in NYC two and a half decades ago–a melodic, glassy-eyed garage rock style a far cry from the emo-pop that vocalist/drummer Daniel Price made made in Equipment a few years back.

Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

Flower Language – “Infinite”

“Infinite,” the second single  from alternative rock band Flower Language’s upcoming debut album Thrown Into Air, is their most expansive track yet, a haunting sentiment steeped in the influence of Denver’s ruminative atmosphere. Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Corey Coffman, the album is one of my most anticipated soft-grunge releases of the year.

 Loan Pham | @x_loanp

glass beach – “the CIA”

It feels like 40 years, not four, have passed since Glass Beach released the first glass beach album in 2019, but finally the post-emo outfit (who’ve since developed a cult following and independent-label representation via Run for Cover) are back with a new single, “the CIA.” While there are touchpoints to the first glass beach album in the arrangement and melody of “the CIA,” there’s also been a seismic shift. The sound is looser, more exploratory, and frankly, more unhinged, but you’re gonna like it. If you want to hype yourself up before the album’s release early next year, explore the band’s elaborate ARG, which has fans both stumped and enthralled.

Michelle Bruton | @michellebruton

All Get Out – “Come Back Around”

South Carolina-based indie/folk rock outfit All Get Out has a new album coming out and the band has been dishing out singles that you’ll have on repeat. The most recent is “Come Back Around,” which may fool fans at first listen and they may think they’re listening to Manchester Orchestra (definitely not a bad thing). The jangly tune is just a taste of what’s ahead with the self-titled album dropping on November 3rd via Equal Vision Records.

Jazmin Lemus | @_Jazmin

Barely Civil – “Coasting, Mostly”

2020’s I’ll Figure This Out took Barely Civil’s fun, melodic emo to a darker, more atmospheric place. The Wisconsin band’s newest single, “Coasting, Mostly,” continues that trend; while it’s as catchy as anything they’ve ever done, there’s an undercurrent of anxiety that runs through the entire song, culminating in its violent bridge.

Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

Don’t Tell a Soul – DTAS EP

A collaboration between Artisan P and Buster Wolf, Don’t Tell A Soul’s DTAS EP is also a showcase for Citronella Room’s roster in general with DJ Proof (whose Red Wine & Veggie Burgers tape I’ve had on repeat this year) and Late Show Host showing up to produce tracks bookending the two produced by Buster Wolf. All the beats are comfortably smooth but not without some grit, each tune has a solid hook, and Artisan P and Buster Wolf play off each other well lyrically with some clever and creative lines arising from the team-up. Tapes of the EP are available through Citronella Room.

Aaron Eisenreich | @slobboyreject

Dollar Signs – “Legend Tripping”

Dollar Signs have an album coming out at the end of the month, and if this single is representative of the whole album I think Jeff Rosenstock fans are going to like it. The title track for Legend Tripping is a “scream-sing in the front of the stage” kind of song dedicated to the punks and outcasts. It’s got riffs for days and some surprisingly good harmonies, and the anthemic chorus of “we are not alone” will make us all lose our voices at the show.

Jami Fowler | @audiocurio

Spiritual Cramp – “Better Off This Way”

Following their previous two singles “Talkin’ on the Internet” and “Herberts on Holiday” from their upcoming debut self-titled album, the San Francisco/ Los Angeles garage punks in Spiritual Cramp have released their third explosive single “Better Off This Way” which taps into the band’s knack for cranking out the hookiest songs with a post-punk revival flair. Directed by Sean Stout, the video follows the group on a riotous pursuit through the streets of LA–with a cameo from Militarie Gun’s Ian Shelton–before ultimately meeting their demise. Spiritual Cramp’s debut album is out November 3rd through Blue Grape Music. 

Loan Pham | @x_loanp

Modern Color – “Fortress”

Modern Color’s new track “Fortress” is more immediate than last year’s single “Greener Grass” or 2021’s Now, Life Is Living You EP–there’s no shoegaze lightness to be found here. A grungy bassline cuts through the murkiness, and the track plays up the extreme quiet/loud dynamic that the Pixies mastered. “Fortress” also boasts a riotous, throat-searing bridge, a nice reminder that Modern Color began as a hardcore band.

Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

memorytown – “SUGAR IN YOUR CUP”

With all his work in recent years as a core member of multiple bands, session player, producer, and engineer, Matt Schimelfenig has essentially become the Troy McClure of Pennsylvania indie music (you may remember him from such records as Don’t Know What You’re In Until You’re Out, Three Man Cannon, Does It Go Any Faster?, and It Did Bring Me Down). “SUGAR IN YOUR CUP,” the first track from his latest endeavor memorytown, has the luscious haze that he seems to help bring to Same’s records with a mix of different guitars that subtly take turns drifting in and out of the forefront. It’s the first track off memorytown’s debut It Takes Forever, out 11/3.

Aaron Eisenreich | @slobboyreject

Go Betty Go – “Keep Up”

If you’re a punk rock fan who spent time in L.A. during the mid-’00s and/or you were invested in the SideOneDummy roster at the time, then Go Betty Go needs no introduction. The Latina punk quartet released “Keep Up” last month, their new single and their first in 8 years. With melodic aggression, the song brings a rich and engaging energy. The anthem is off the band’s upcoming album Black and Blue, referring to the difficult and bruised circumstances that the band has dealt with when the pandemic hit and again when guitarist Betty Cisneros was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer in 2022. Black and Blue will be out in 2024 via Wiretap Records.

Jazmin Lemus | @_Jazmin

The Alternative’s ‘New Music Friday’ playlist

Each week our editor Lindsy Carrasquillo compiles a playlist of songs our staff has been jamming. We post it on Fridays on Twitter and then include it in each edition of the Weekly Roundup to make sure you don’t miss any of the great music we’re recommending.

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