The Alt Weekly Roundup (10/30)

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.

Maria BC – Spike Field 

Maria BC occupies a similar space as Grouper or Julianna Barwick at their gloomiest; unlike them, though, Maria BC’s music isn’t quite so bereft of color. Spike Field is airy and ambient, but there’s a warmth to it that their peers rarely tap into. Songs like “Return to sender” are dotted with string flourishes and Maria BC’s vaporous voice manages to make even the clattering beats of “Mercury” sound comforting.

Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

Liquid Mike – “Mouse Trap”

As if Liquid Mike hadn’t already packed their album from earlier this year with enough shredders to satiate their rabid cult fanbase’s appetite for crunchy riffs. Marquette’s finest have announced the follow-up to their relative breakout S/T; Paul Bunyan’s Sling Shot immediately became one of my most hotly-anticipated releases of 2024. Liquid Mike Hive is growing stronger every day, and “Mouse Trap” proves why. To paraphrase Mike himself, the American Dream is a Michigan band.

Grace Robins-Somerville | @grace_roso

The Gaslight Anthem – History Books

There’s always some hesitancy when such a beloved band like The Gaslight Anthem returns after a long period of silence—will they still have that same spark?  And, even if they do, how is their music going to sit with me and the person I’ve become in the nine years since Get Hurt? Luckily, the Jersey rockers allayed all fears within about five seconds of the foot-stomping opener “Spider Bites.” Pulling back some of the underrated Get Hurt‘s more expansive musical ideas, History Books is about as pure of a Gaslight Anthem as you can imagine. While this could be seen as playing it safe in some sense, that’s absolutely fine in this case, and it’s likely that Gaslight fans will be echoing the sentiments on “Positive Charge” when talking about History Books: “plug it into my brain and make me love this life again.”

Aaron Eisenreich | @slobboyreject

Dreamwell – In My Saddest Dreams, I Am Beside You

There’s an impeccable flow to In My Saddest Dreams, I Am Beside You. The sophomore album from Rhode Island’s Dreamwell balances beautifully moments of post-rock brightness and pummeling fury, and the whole thing plays out with hardly a breath between tracks. It towers over their caustic 2021 debut Modern Grotesque, and it’s one of the best post-hardcore records of the year.

Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

Azshara – Demo 

Azshara is similar to a lot of bands on the label Ephyra, looking at metalcore from the 2000s as its central text. You can make some comparison points to Hellfest 2002 or Prayer For Cleansing. The cover even indicates the era, looking ripped out of a CD jewel case. The EP begins with an acoustic intro, one of the most cliche things a metalcore band could do. I would hate it more if the rest of the EP didn’t hit me squarely in the chest, which is all I want from aggressive music.

Hugo Reyes | @hvreyes5

Dazy – “Forced Perspective”

Dazy, the project of Richmond-based power pop powerhouse James Goodson, is back with another mad dash of bright, fuzzy noise. “Forced Perspective” follows this year’s fantastic b-sides EP OTHERBODY and it doesn’t seem like the hits will stop coming anytime soon. With its tightly crafted guitar lines that unwind into an imminently catchy hook, it’s one of many prime examples of Goodson playing to all his strengths.

Grace Robins-Somerville | @grace_roso

Cheekface – “Largest Muscle”

Cheekface is bringing big grooves on their new single, “Largest Muscle.” Their definition of “largest” may be a little different than the medical community, but they’ll make you dance and think at the same time. I’ll take that prescription every day.

Jami Fowler | @audiocurio

Routine Fuss – “Headass”

Highlighted by the clever guitar work in each section, Routine Fuss run through a breadth of dynamics and emotions on their new “Headass.” After the clean and winding opening, the group flips to an explosive middle third with some more dirt on the guitar that leads into the final section of relentless riffs under Avery Black’s lyrics of anxious self-doubt. It’s a tight two minutes that’s got me hitting repeat.

Aaron Eisenreich | @slobboyreject

Dan Darrah & the Rain – Rivers Bridges Trains

The hardcore to powerpop pipeline is real. Less than a month after dropping one of the best hardcore records of 2023, Mil-Spec guitarist Dan Darrah is back with his inaugural release with backing band The Rain. Rivers Bridges Trains feels kaleidoscopic in its view of the genre, encompassing all the greats back to the ‘60s: the harmonies of The Beach Boys, the orchestral lilt of The Beatles, the folksy air of The Byrds.

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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