The Alt Weekly Roundup (10/31)

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.

Same – Does It Go Any Faster?

A killer live band, Same aimed to bring that buzzing energy to their new record, Does It Go Any Faster?, recording most of the album with minimal overdubs, opting to rip through the songs as a group the way they had been practicing for the session. The result is great, elevating everything that worked on Plastic Western and embracing the band’s anything-goes approach, with a sunny acoustic tune like “Facially Blind” dropped next to a rocker like “Moped,” which then morphs naturally into the hazy “Motorcycle,” taking you through three distinctly different sounds in about six minutes near the top of the record. That haziness looms over much of Does It Go Any Faster?, sometimes with a jaded edge to it like on “Admin Reveal” and “Into the Fire.” Same slows things down a bit on the surreal “Another World Record,” while “Faceplant” pulls that surreal feeling into one of the record’s more rocking songs. Coming after the catchy, raucous “Open Garden,” sparse album closer “Wormholder’s Wish” provides a sharp contrast to the rest of Does It Go Any Faster? with its haunting keys, crisp acoustic guitar, and far-off trumpet, giving you a moment to catch your breath and contemplate the swirling, hazy half hour that just passed.

Aaron Eisenreich | @slobboyreject

Chrome Eyes – Straight Through You

When Pittsburgh’s Dive changed their name to Chrome Eyes, their sound shifted too, ever so slightly. On their debut full-length Straight Through You the band embraces a chunkier, chillier sound, sanding off a little of the languorousness shoegaze can be known for. These songs are urgent and aggressive, built on punishing grungy riffs (“Misunderstood,” “Vertigo”) and atmospheric post-hardcore breakdowns (“Masquerade”). The band hasn’t lost their ability to craft a smooth, swirling dream pop song, though, and “Same Thing” might well be the best song they’ve put out under any name. 

Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

Suzie True – “Backburner”

Suzie True’s latest “Backburner” is a lovesick anthem driven by a ripping guitar line that seems to churn underneath the vocals, providing a spark for the song. The witty and evocative lyrics like “I wanna get drunk on the metro / yeah I wanna cause a scene / want you to kiss me in the rain / like some romantic comedy” and “I wanna steal all of your hoodies / wanna get lost in your sheets / I want to dance around your bedroom / to songs from the ‘90s” capture the lost puppy dog” feeling perfectly—a feeling that is also echoed in the punk instrumentals that bounce around energetically from start to finish.

Aaron Eisenreich | @slobboyreject

Sobs  – Air Guitar

I liked you better being silly with your air guitar” goes the line that gives Sobs’ newest LP (and first single) its title. It’s a fitting one, too, because Air Guitar is one of the most fun records of the year, a loose, unpretentious half-hour of jaunty, catchy as hell indie rock. It’s the gold standard for guitar pop in 2022.

Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

Camping in Alaska – Lost and Found

Emo legends Camping in Alaska resurfaced this week with an EP Lost and Found collecting three acoustic demos from 2017-2018. As expected with acoustic demos, the sound is raw and packed with a vulnerability that is matched in the lyrics, which make no qualms about going to dark places, confronting morbid thoughts and situations head-on. Lost and Found is a welcome return and hopefully a harbinger of some more activity from the band.

Aaron Eisenreich | @slobboyreject

Smidley – “Table Rock Antichrist”

Where “Another Devil” showed off a new side of Smidley, Conor Murphy’s latest single under that name is a return to the ominous singer-songwriter fare of his debut Smidley. “Table Rock Antichrist” leans into its hazy atmosphere, each successive chorus adding a new layer to fill out the track. The single version cuts out the song’s spacey post-rock coda, leaving a nice cool four ish minutes of spidery neo-folk.

Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

Nightmarathons – Hidden Vigorish

Hidden Vigorish, the second Nighmarathons record, is pure foot-stomping punk, a forty-minute rush of palm-muted verses, shoutalong choruses, and a constant, relentless push from the drums. Songs like “Senseless,” “Elevator,” and “Enough” feel like long lost Against Me! tracks, and the classic Florida punks are probably a good reference point for the emphatic energy on Hidden Vigorish. But there’s also something about these tunes that keeps them from being stuck in the past—the sound is classic straightforward punk, but the group manages to make it feel as fresh, vital, urgent as ever here.

 Aaron Eisenreich | @slobboyreject

Arm’s Length – Never Before Seen, Never Again Found

If Never Before Seen, Never Again Found dropped two decades ago Arm’s Length would be blowing up alongside the now-iconic bands of the Long Island boom. Like those before them, the Canadian trio finds a comfortable space between pop-punk, post-hardcore, and emo, and settles in deep. Admittedly, they’re not breaking any new ground, but the band’s learned enough tricks from their first two EPs to keep their debut feeling fresh. “Muscle Memory” is, in its first minute, an atmospheric ballad, Steinberg’s voice nearly smothered in strings, before a kick drum throws us into a towering hook, and the playful beats undergirding “Family and Friends” contrast with the track’s frank meditations on a friend’s suicide. Far from gimmicky, these breathing moments show off the band’s capabilities beyond the hooks of singles.

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’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.

The Alternative is ad-free and 100% supported by our readers. If you’d like to help us produce more content and promote more great new music, please consider donating to our Patreon page, which also allows you to receive sweet perks like free albums and The Alternative merch.