The Alt Weekly Roundup (10/2)

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.

Al Menne – Freak Accident

Al Menne was a major draw of one of the most beloved indie rock records of the past half decade in Four of Arrows. With Menne’s debut solo album, they wisely don’t try to recreate the sweeping beauty of Great Grandpa’s second LP, instead tending towards more understated, folk-leaning material. As ever, Menne’s silky performance lends these songs a weight a less capable vocalist would need to keep them sounding fresh, and on tracks like “Grandma’s Garden” they’re carried on a wave of rollicking beats and slithering keys. Even on a song like that, or the lovely title track, where Menne isn’t belting—sometimes only barely whispering—it’s impossible not to want to sing alone.

Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

Golden Apples – “Sugarfire”

Golden Apples’ new “Sugarfire” is wrapped in the warm, smoky haze that seems to stretch over most of their tunes. Here, electronics and spoken-word samples are thrown in with the synths and guitars for a hypnotic five minutes. Their new album Bananasugarfire is out at the end of the month, and is shaping up to be another strong release from the group.

Aaron Eisenreich | @slobboyreject

Michael the Band – Tough Trust

Michael the Band creates the kind of festival pop that would’ve ruled the airwaves last decade, akin to early Foals and MGMT. Tough Trust is full of bombastic synths and towering hooks, perhaps none more than “Big Brother,” a soaring pop rock cut that could’ve fit on Draw Down the Moon.

Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

Manor Gates – “Yee-Haw”

Manor Gates’ debut EP was one of last year’s best and most underappreciated emo releases. It makes sense then that they’d sign to We’re Trying Records, one of the most quietly exciting labels in the world of emo. The band’s new single “Yee-Haw” immediately demonstrates what makes them so lovable: pop hooks combine with aggressive and technical riffs. It’s the latest taste of the Ohio band’s So Much Brooding LP, a co-release between We’re Trying and the always stellar Refresh Records, out next month.

 Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

Teenage Halloween – “Armageddon Now”

With each new track off Teenage Halloween’s upcoming Till You Return, I’m struck by how comfortable they sound as a band on these new recordings, even if most of their songs feature an underlying, nervous sense of almost never being comfortable. It’s something that goes beyond their technical ability as musicians and hints at the soul or spirit behind these songs. Their latest, “Armageddon Now,” is a perfect example of that feeling, with the group navigating with ease through an acerbic punk opening and a quick little ska diversion before closing out with a pure ’80s guitar solo.

Aaron Eisenreich | @slobboyreject

’68 – Yes, and…

Post punk/noise rock duo ‘68 turn in their most chaotic release yet with Yes, and…, the band’s fourth LP and first for Pure Noise. They retain the blues influence that’s colored their last couple albums (particularly on “Let’s Be Friends” and highlight “Then Got Bored”) but this time the songs are more layered—a song like “They All Agreed” is far more intricate than anything they’ve attempted before, and the ender “Within the Hour They Were No More” goes more places in its five minutes than the entirety of Give One Take One. It’s a wild ride, as always with ‘68, but every minute counts.

Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

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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