Cementing The Seams

The Plot Sickens


I had to write about this record again for two reasons. ONE: When I posted it the first time I had listened to it exactly once, so I didn’t really have much of an opinion. I should have waited, because TWO: “Snacks” is the best album of 2009. Actually, I wrote about so quickly for kind of a bizarre reason. It was so good that I was AFRAID TO LISTEN TO IT. Let me admit something weird. Sometimes, when I listen to an album and immediately recognize that it’s great I start to get worried. What if it really isn’t all that good? What if I’ve fooled myself into thinking this is something it isn’t? What if it’s so good it can’t possibly be real? I think these things to myself and consciously leave the record alone so I can gain perspective. Usually when this happens it turns out that I’m just being irrational and the record actually is that good. Still, it’s a pretty rare occurrence, so believe me “Snacks” is in good company.

Anyhow, I suppose I pretty much summed this album up in the last post, but I’d just like to say that when I finally gave “Snacks” a thorough listen I thought to myself: “This is what I’ve been waiting to hear”.

It's brilliance I think is in nuance, and probably the best guitar riffage I've heard this year.  The dueling guitars (something I normally am pretty intolerant of) compliment each other so well throughout the entire record because neither is overbearing. I suppose what I'm saying is that they generally work together so well that I mostly forget that there at least two guys playing guitars at all times.  It helps that "Snacks" is impeccably engineered/mastered as well. 
     At first "Snacks" did seem a little overwhelming to be honest.  Kidcrash cram a lot of ideas into each of their songs but never get lost in them (something I waited for them do to when listening to this album the first few times).  Every song has a ton of structural elements but they are well focused and don't meander (now that I'm thinking about it, "Snacks" almost teeters of the math-rock line with this release).  So, I suppose what I mean to say is that this album could have gone wrong in a lot of ways but didn't.  "Snacks" is the best album of the year because in all ways it is fully realized (read: pretty much perfect).

For fans of:  Loma Prieta, L'Antietam, Dominic

Kidcrash on Myspace 

Get it (again). 

Copies still available at Init (for US folks) and Denovali (for Euros)

- Sorry I haven't posted a current full-length album in a while. But EPs seem to be where it's at as of late. Plus, I like writing in bullets

- Anway, Forming are a Southern California band who play a brand of mellow, poppy indie rock that is really good, for lack of a better descriptor.

- It reminds me of a lot of bands like Cheap Girls, Tin Armor and other slowjam punk-rock acts you might see in the line-up for The Fest (they might have been there for all I know).

- "Sleep Like A Dog" is their debut and was released by Vitriol Records, which, if you have been paying attention, is run by members of Graf Orlock/Ghostlimb. I actually had been listening to this for a while and was surprised to finally learn that Vitriol released it. Doesn't seem like it fits, but clearly these dudes know good music. Watch for Vitriol Records in the future.

- Oh, they are giving it away for free too!

For fans of: Cheap Girls, The Wrens, Tigers Jaw

Forming on Myspace

Get it.

Buy it and other great stuff from Vitriol Records (check out the Graf Orlock shirts)

This release from Trusty has the honor of being part two of the (semi-retarded) DeSoto Singles Club!  Trusty is a Little Rock, Arkansas punk band that relocated to Washington D.C. in the early 90's in a sort of suspect couldn't-be-coincidental style parallel with former president Bill Clinton (this is, of course, only speculation).  Anyway, to be honest I'm not very well acquainted (shamefully) with the rest of Trusty's discography, but this 7" is a serious slab of gold.  I suppose I would say that Trusty plays (on this release anyway) a version of power punk/pop that is reminiscient of the genre in the era but not at all derivative.  Think, the poppier progeny of 7 Seconds or The Adolescents or some other excellent hardcore/edge band from that side of the country.

For Fans of:  7 Seconds, Adolescents, The Marshes, Canadian Rifle

Trusty on Myspace

Get it.

Everybody is aware of Shiner right?  I feel like I've been over it, and if I haven't I suppose they don't really need an introduction.  In my quest to track down every release on the low-profile but extremely high-quality label DeSoto Records, I came across this gem.  Now the title track Semper Fi appeared on Shiner's LP "Starless" (curiously their only full-length release NOT on DeSoto) but the version on the 7" is actually a lot better.  The b-side "Sailor's Fate" didn't make it onto the record but it should have because it's at least as good as the majority of the album (which is saying a lot).  This is midwest shoegazy math-rock at its very finest.  If you're one of those people that ignores 7"s and singles, suck it up and don't let this get by you. 

Expect to see more DeSoto singles in the near future.

For fans of:  The Life And Times, Hum, Ethel Meserve, Chavez

Shiner on Myspace

Get it.

 I said I'd do it, so here it is.  This is one of those records that's amazing from start to finish and at one point or another just about every song was my favorite.  There are only a handful of albums I can really say that about.  Like I said in the previous post this is more DC indie-rock/post-hardcore fare.  Of course 11 years later SSM had a little time to polish their sound.  "At The Poles" is probably their most aggressive effort, so don't expect to hear the exact same type of stuff from their 7".  I know I really like something when I can't explain why.

For fans of: Jawbox, Kerosene 454, Edsel

Seven Storey Mountain on Myspace

Get it.

- Seven Storey Mountain are a DC post-hardcore worship band (this sounds derogatory but its actually a compliment) from Phoenix, AZ.

- At this time they hadn't incorporated the "Mountain" and were known only as Seven Storey.  Later they would add the final part making their moniker some literary reference that I don't remember and don't care to google.  Somebody's memoirs or something... (Errata: I'm not going to hide the fact that I obviously remembered this wrong since the cover art cleary says "Mountain" right on the fucking front)

- This 7" EP is their first official release (which was also released as a CDep containing an extra track)

- I should be posting something about their last (by which I mean most recent, but could also mean final) LP "At The Poles" which will probably go down as one of my favorite all-time jams from start to finish.  However, I've decided to post this

- I was excited to finally find mp3's of this record because I don't have a turntable or any other device capable ripping vinyl.  So in my excitement, I share.

- A very heavy early-Jawbox vibe on this EP

- Expect to see something about "At The Poles" when I get the time (read: the motivation)

For fans of:  Jawbox, Kerosene 454,  Edsel

Seven Storey Mountain on Myspace

Get it.

- Init Records put this CD in with my pre-order of the new Kidcrash LP and I finally listened to it.  Honestly it's pretty good.

- They're from Murfreesboro, Tennessee (I sortof want to live in this town, maybe you can figure out why)

- The Black Soul Choir used to be called The Falling (I know right)

- Init has this to say: "The 5-song CD from this DC-influenced Murfreesboro, Tennessee band who have been compared to Jawbox, Rites Of Spring, Rye Coalition, Fugazi, and At The Drive-In", which is a pretty fair assessment.  They also have a bit of a bluesy/swaggy indie rock feel mixed in.

- Bad band names aside, these guys are thoroughly enjoyable to say the least.

For fans of: See above

The Black Soul Choir on Myspace

Get it.

Buy it from Init Records for $1