The Alt Weekly Roundup (9/12)

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.

JR Slayer – Not Rotten

JR Slayer’s Not Rotten feels like a long-lost gem recently unearthed. Given the band’s all-star makeup, this shouldn’t come as any great surprise. Still, though, it’s impressive the way the band’s fuzzy pop-punk feels at once modern and classic. 

Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

Various Artists – One Scene Unity: A Hardcore Compilation, Vol. 3

Over the past couple of years, From Within Records has become essential for hardcore. One of their mainstays has been a compilation series, One Scene Unity, which is now ending with their third installment. It features many of the most important bands in the scene, ranging from the borderline rapcore of Gridiron to the melodic hardcore stylings of Chemical Fix.

Hugo Reyes |  @hvreyes5

Excide – “Flip”

Excide mixes alt rock and post-hardcore like no one else in the game on “Flip.” It’s as dissonant as it is melodic, and it might be the best cut yet the band’s released ahead of their upcoming Deliberate Revolver LP.

 Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

Armor for Sleep – The Rain Museum

When I saw Armor for Sleep reunite and play through 2005’s What to Do When You Are Dead at Chicago’s Metro in September 2021, I was blown away at how powerful the performance was. Far from a nostalgia act, this was a band that still had something to say. It was, then, not surprising but still exhilarating when the New Jersey post-hardcore veterans announced a new album, The Rain Museum—their first in 15 years. Like their previous LPs, The Rain Museum is a concept album based on a short story by vocalist Ben Jorgensen—but it took on a new meaning, about overcoming grief and moving forward, as his marriage fell apart during the writing process. The album isn’t a major departure from Armor for Sleep’s established sound, for which some critics will fault the quartet. But after 15 long years of waiting for new music, familiarity is not unwelcome.

Michelle Bruton | @MichelleBruton

Looming – Anybody’s Baby

Anybody’s Baby is the clearest expression yet of Looming’s melodic, tightly wound indie rock. It’s bright and bouncy, confident and crunchy—it’s Looming at their best, and it’s well worth the five-year wait.

Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

Have Mercy – Have Mercy

When Have Mercy ceased performing as a quartet in March 2020, it seemed unlikely they would ever find their way back to one another. The pandemic-related shutdowns were making live music next to impossible, and lead vocalist Brian Swindle was fighting personal demons that had become incongruous with his life as a performer. Soon, Swindle, who got sober and worked on addressing his mental health, began releasing solo music. He wrote a song that sounded closer to a Have Mercy track than a Brian Swindle track, and in July of this year, the Baltimore emo rockers reunited to announce a self-titled EP. Have Mercy is a triumph in more ways than one. The band’s familiar sound is richer and more complex than ever, and Swindle’s personal growth is evident in the lyrics. Standout single “Fast Car” is up there with the band’s best-ever tracks.

Michelle Bruton | @MichelleBruton

Holy Fawn – Dimensional Bleed

Holy Fawn exists in a unique space where they make perfect sense sharing the stage with both Deafheaven and Caspian. The Arizona band exists somewhere between post-rock and blackgaze, and their sophomore LP Dimensional Bleed is the band at their absolute best. The darkest moments on the record engulf the listener, and the prettier, softer spaces in between hit even harder than their previous material, and the tracks where the two collide, like the behemoth “Void of Light,” are breathtaking. Dimensional Bleed is a folk horror masterpiece, from the spacious post-metal of “Lift Your Head” to the ambient textures of “True Loss,” and the subtle use of electronics on tracks like “Death Is a Relief” and the mesmerizing “Amaranthine” give the record a surreal, unsettling atmosphere.

Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

Wednesday – “Bull Believer”

Wednesday has had a busy couple years, and “Bull Believer” is their most accomplished track yet. Nearly nine minutes of wailing guitars, throat-shredded howls, and walls of feedback, it’s a massive thesis statement of a track, and it makes it abundantly clear that Wednesday is in a class of their own. 

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.

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