The Alt Weekly Roundup (2/5)

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.

yubiori / Acle – under a cloud 

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: the best emo bands in the world aren’t coming from the American Midwestthey’re coming from Yokohama, Japan. The new under a cloud split from yubiori and Acle is proof; here they eschew the math rock showiness that so many of their peers lean on in favor of the warm pastoral arpeggios that defined the style in the ’90s, and both bands turn in some of their best work yet.

Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

Liquid Mike – Paul Bunyan’s Slingshot

Liquid Mike’s self-titled third record was one of The Alt’s favorites last year, so their newly released Paul Bunyan’s Slingshot was highly anticipated by our staff coming into the new year. Luckily, the mailman-led Marquette rockers did not disappoint, delivering another quick shot of easy-to-love rock and roll. Much like fellow midwestern singing mailman John Prine, Liquid Mike’s Mike Maple writes some great fucking tunes. In lieu of broken hearts and dirty windows, the souvenirs on Paul Bunyan’s Slingshot are haunted houses, shoplifted goods, and memories of ripping K2. If you keep up on music blogs, this is likely the dozenth—and least eloquent—recommendation for Paul Bunyan’s Slingshot you’ve read, so at this point you might as well succumb to the Liquid Mike hive.

Aaron Eisenreich | @slobboyreject

Softcult – “Shortest Fuse”

Softcult’s new single “Shortest Fuse” heightens the contradictions between their sound and their scathing condemnations of capitalism, couching pro-labor polemics in airy, pillowy riffs and a booming, anthemic chorus. 

Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

Identity Shock – Demo 

The concise demo from Identity Shock comes from Designated Moshers Unit, which has become one of the most consistent labels in fast hardcore. There is no description of the demo, leaving me to make my conclusions about its source texts. Each song adheres to the pretty well-worn tradition of modern hardcore punk with little variation. I mean this as a compliment. “Prove Yourself” is mostly full-force blast beats, and “Animosity” shows some literacy in the much-needed skank or slowdown to show some variation. It all makes for what is a pretty good demo if, like me, you like your hardcore fast and as primitive as humanly possible.

 Hugo Reyes | @hvreyes5

Aaron West and the Roaring Twenties – “Paying Bills at the End of the World”

Smothered in steel guitar, Aaron West and the Roaring Twenties’ new single “Paying Bills at the End of the World” might be a work of fiction, but Dan Campbell’s everyman charm shines through as ever, and it’s the most deeply-felt Aaron West track yet. It’s from the upcoming In Lieu of Flowers, which drops in April, and it’s one of the album’s most restrained cuts. (Get ready for Aaron West in full-on rock and roll mode.)

Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

I Swallow Ghosts – “John Cena Later”

I Swallow Ghosts’ “John Cena Later” follows in the long tradition of emo songs with silly names that absolutely rock. The contrasting guitar tones (dirty in the left ear and “clean” in the right) push the rollicking verses, while the subtle percussion slowly raises the bridge to its emphatic explosion. “John Cena Later” sounds great too, and a look at the track’s credits reveals that Routine Fuss’ Avery Black mastered the tune, surely helping to bring out the meatiness of the guitars and the fat bass sound that doesn’t get lost in the whirlwind of riffs.

 Aaron Eisenreich | @slobboyreject

University Drive – “Crisis”

University Drive’s new single “Crisis” is a slice of powerful, dynamic alt rock. It’s not as reliant on thick ’90s tones as many of their contemporaries’ material, instead going straight for the hippocampus with a memorable and moving hook.

Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

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