The Alt Weekly Roundup (10/3)

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.

Superdestroyer – “FKA Still Chill (feat. New You and Analogue Heart)”

Featuring vocals from New You and Analogue Heart, Superdestroyer’s latest “FKA Still Chill” feels like three different songs in under two minutes that somehow still naturally connect. It’s bookended by heavy, harsh riffs that are followed (at the start) and preceded (at the end) by a ’90s rock melody repeating “I’m anxious and nervous when I’m with you.”  A light, dreamy verse forms the centerpiece, sandwiched between the 90s rock feel before the song goes back out on a run of harsh riffs. It’s kind of like a musical palindrome. Superdestroyer’s wild new record GOON—his second of the year—is out next week.

Aaron Eisenreich | @slobboyreject

Knifeplay – “Ryan Song”

Where “Promise,” the lead single from Knifeplay’s upcoming Animal Drowning is a fuzzy, chaotic burst of shoegaze, second single “Ryan Song” shows off the album’s other pole. It’s folksy, piano-led slowcore at its best, and Animal Drowning is a masterpiece.

Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

Quinn Cicala – Arkansas

Quinn Cicala’s Arkansas EP is a lovely fifteen minutes of folksy Americana. Cicala’s lyrics are clever, fitting the feel of the style while sounding original and fresh, and there’s a perfect amount of twang in his casual delivery. The touches from piano, organ, and lead guitar create a classic sound, especially on the endearing “New York Times,” but it’s “Second Chance (Demo)” that seems to stick out for its lack of accompaniment. The tune is haunting and gripping, forcing you to stop what you’re doing and listen as Cicala sings, “cause you never went pro, never got a second chance to get gold / and if I saw you again, had a chance to say something, well I don’t know.” Showing some range and contrast to the sparser songs, the EP closes out on its most raucous tune “I Wish Life Worked Like That.”

Aaron Eisenreich | @slobboyreject

Fantasy Camp – “Casual Intimacy”

Fantasy Camp is the new project from Jonah Kramer (DJ for Wicca Phase Springs Eternal), and their new single is a dream pop song full of pastel colored romance. “Casual Intimacy” is an upbeat song full of swirling synths and floating vocals that reminds me of The Postal Service, and I’m a huge fan of anything like that!

Jami Fowler | @audiocurio

Anxious Arms – “Catastrophes”

Over the years Anxious Arms has gotten increasingly metallic. By this point the lane they’re clearly most comfortable in is groovy Helmet inspired alt metal, and “Catastrophes” adds to that the pulverizing atmospherics of a Thrice for a potent cocktail.

Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

Mechanical Canine – Walls Covered in Mildew

Mechanical Canine’s Walls Covered in Mildew starts deceptively with a swaying acoustic campfire feel, until the point in the title track where the band kicks in so emphatically you’d think they were trying to break your speakers, shifting to a nervously energetic punk sound topped with some killer synthesizer. This frantic, feel-everything-in-sixteenth-notes energy is on full display on “Twitch” and “Go Kick Rocks,” two of the record’s strongest songs which sandwich some of album’s more reserved moments tempo-wise in “Onion People” and “[interlude].” “Let Me Be Clearp”—the only track pushing past four minutes—also slows things down more in an expansive way, contrasting with the high-energy “Chuzz-wuzzers” that follows. “Warm” does everything the closer to album like this should, staying sparse for about 45 seconds before blasting off, dropping out for a short bridge, and then launching into an explosive coda, the band letting out one last burst of nervous energy before fading into feedback. Vinyl, CDs, and cassettes of Walls Covered in Mildew are available through Fire Hazard Records.

Aaron Eisenreich | @slobboyreject

Excide – Deliberate Revolver

Excide’s new LP Deliberate Revolver is punishing mix of alt rock and hardcore, tastefully heavy and effortlessly melodic. It’s one of the best post-hardcore albums of the year, and it absolutely lives up to the promise demonstrated on their promo tape from earlier this year.

Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

Midwestern Medicine – The Gold Baton

With raw, crunchy guitars and catchy melodies delivered through somewhat distorted vocals, Midwestern Medicine’s The Gold Baton at first seems like a fun garage-rock revival, but the band goes a much more interesting route, using those fuzzy, lofi soundscapes to explore a run of classic American styles, ranging from light folk to blistering punk. The raw, lively Dylanesque “Cobwebbed Calls to the Queen” is followed by the delicate indie-folk of “Disabled Step,” which leads into the disorienting rocker “More Insults.” The band dips into the ‘60s with the bouncy “It’s So Nice,” replacing the psychedelia of the era with a slathering of fuzz. “The Following Line” is a doo-wop slow dance, but a few tunes later, the band is ripping through “The Gold Baton, Pt. 2,” which feels like it could be a Neil Young and Crazy Horse outtake, followed up by the Ramonesy “Rocket Launcher.” Perhaps oddest (in a good way) is the banjo-twinged honky tonk closer “Only in the Country.” Midwestern Medicine manage to make all these ideas fit within the slacker, garage-rock feel they establish on the first couple tunes, giving a sense of cohesiveness to The Gold Baton even as the band jumps styles like someone picking tracks for mixtape.

Aaron Eisenreich | @slobboyreject

The Sonder Bombs – “The Star”

If “The Star” made its way to the right ears, The Sonder Bombs would be the biggest band in the world. It feels at once like the past, present, and future of pop rock, a pristine, arena-sized banger.

Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

Boldy James – Fair Exchange No Robbery

His second album this year, Fair Exchange No Robbery, finds Boldy James north of the border with Montreal-based Nicholas Craven handling production. Craven’s beats feature jazzy guitar lines, smooth saxophones, and laid-back keys that all fit with Boldy’s relaxed-but-acrobatic delivery. His delivery is also contrasted by the vocal loops Craven constantly makes use of, giving songs like “Stuck in Traffic” and “Scrabble” a more complex feel as the hooks and raps seem to stray from each other only to line back up as the beat loops back. The three-song run starting with “Designer Drugs” stands out with its bouncy saxophone behind lines like “scared to dwell on my past / I got Alzheimers.” “Six Toes” makes the most of a cascading horror movie piano line, while “You Ain’t No Menace” pulls things back for a sultry jazz lounge beat. A record devoid of missteps, Fair Exchange No Robbery serves as further proof that Boldy James can sound great fitting his unique style with a range of creative and distinctive producers.

Aaron Eisenreich | @slobboyreject

The Alternative’s ‘New Music Friday’ playlist

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

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