Cementing The Seams

The Plot Sickens


Tenement - Napalm Dream

  • 2011 was a pretty excellent year for pop-punk, and Napalm Dream is camped atop a mountain of great music from the genre this year.  I've heard a few people mention not getting what the fuss is all about. I don't get them.
House Boat - The Thorns Of Life
  • Like I said, great year for pop punk.  House Boat is what you get when you put together over-the-top catchy pop-punk acts like The Steinways, The Ergs, and Dear Landlord. Sometimes it's ridiculous, sometimes it's perfect.
Ghoul - Transmission Zero
  • When I was 14 I bought an Exhumed CD because the concept of gore metal seemed hilarious and ironic to me. Ghoul doesn't really sound like what I remember of Exhumed, but 12 years later I had to wonder if maybe that CD might be really good.  Transmission Zero is absolutely one of my favorite records of the year despite the inherent cheesiness (in fact, it works heavily in it's favor).  I don't really know what metal music is supposed to sound like, but if it was all like this, the world would be a perfect place.
Office Of Future Plans - Office Of Future Plans
  • I'm kinda surprised I never got around to posting this to be honest.  It was probably my most anticipated record of the year.  I suppose it was because it would have gone something like this: "If you're like me and basically love everything J Robbins touches, then this record is for you".  I suppose it didn't grab me as much as the Channels full length, but OFP still hits on all cylinders, and sounds like only this group of dudes can. Pretty brilliant.
Bridge & Tunnel - Rebuilding Year
  • When it comes to socially conscious, next-level, reluctant adult punk, pretty much nobody can hold a candle to Bridge & Tunnel.  Rebuilding Year is absolutely their best material and most certainly one of the best punk records of the year.
Beau Navire - Hours
  • I think I made it the whole year without posting a screamo record.  Primarily because it all sucked.  This however, is pretty fucking good. So there you have it.  2011's good screamo record.
Night Birds - The Other Side Of Darkness
  • Pretty much unilaterally considered on of the best punk albums of 2011 and with good reason.  Perfect mix of throwback hardcore, surf punk and the occasional pop-punk; a formula for greatness.

Trainwreck - If There's A Light It Will Find You

  • The always killer Trainwreck madetheir mark on 2011 with this 5 song 12".  The consensus on this record seemed to be "good but doesn't really sound much like earlier material" Is that good? Bad? Depends on who you ask.  Either way, compared to other Trainwreck or any record in this genre, it was one of the biggest successes of the year. Conceptually.
Punch - Nothing Lasts
  • It was a big year for Punch; signing to Deathwish, touring the entire universe, and (if Tumblr is any indication) becoming the most popular band in said universe.  You would think their recorded resume would have been a bit more prolific.  Considering how good Nothing Lasts was though, you'll get it.
Impalers - S/T
  • Members of Mammoth Grinder and Hatred Surge (more on these guys in the near future).  This sounds like what you assume these two bands getting together and writing a punk record would sound like: fucking awesome. 
Damp Hay - Middlewestern
  • This is what my life is missing right now.  Midwestern math-rock, fuzzed out bluesy riffs.  Everything about this is good.  In fact, listening to it now, it's even better than I remember.
Thou - The Archer & The Owle
  • This hit me like a ton of bricks.  I always thought Thou was a little boring, and I mean, I guess they still are, but The Archer & The Owle cannot be ignored.  It was a little difficult to put here because A) It can hardly be called an EP, and B) The best material on it is recylced from 2010's "Summit".  Everything is so well put together, though (the songs, the packaging) that I had to include this.  Had it not already been released, the opening track "Voices In The Wilderness" would have probably been the best song of the year.
Kidcrash - Naps
  • I might be the only person who thinks Snacks is without question Kidcrash's best record. At least it seems that way.  So imagine how pleased I was when these 4 songs sounded like outtakes from one a my favorite records from last year.  I still probably haven't listened to this enough, which is probably because it doesn't quite have the hook of Snacks.  But you know, can't go wrong.
Four Eyes - Towards the End of Cosmic Loneliness
  • This was absolutely the best impulse buy I made all year.  Perfect mix of punk, pop and 90's indie rock.  I dare you not to like this.
Giant Peach - People Don't Believe Me
  • Looking back now, 2011 was a pretty killer year for indie rock.  It just kills me that people are so into Bon Iver and Sufjan Stevens and not Giant Peach. Shit. Top notch driving-into-the-sunset music from these New York dudes/dudettes.  I don't understand the world.

You may be aware that it's been a while since I've made one of those "best records of 20XX" lists.  I usually don't do this for 2 reasons.  1) I've pretty much already posted about the best things I've listened to in a year so rehashing all the same records you've already read about doesn't seem to serve much purpose. 2) I know by June of next year the list will be completely outdated and obsolete.

This year though, I've neglected posting enough that I can probably make a pretty decent list of shit that I didn't post.  Although I may include some shit I did anyway.  I don't know what's gonna happen, but it IS going to happen. So, you know, be prepared to be underwhelmed by everything I listened to too much in 2011.

Not much else needs to be said about this other than Regents is made up of members of Frodus and Max Colby who play like-minded post hardcore.  One of the essential EPs of 2011.

FFO: Frodus, Max Colby, Challenger, Drive Like Jehu

Stream and download at Bandcamp

Once again I am way behind schedule with this place, and I'm going to try to post more here pretty soon.  That being said this definitely needs to be at the top of the queue.  "Vimana" is definitely one of my favorite releases of the entire year and I think it's because Two Inch Astronaut sorta reminds me a little of every band I like.  Honestly anything good about 90's/2000's indie rock found it's way into the makeup on "Vimana" but it manages to not sound recycled at all.  From what I gather the Maryland trio do this as a sort of side project, but I'm praying to sweet Spaghetti Jesus that Two Inch Astronaut will keep at it for several releases.

FFO: Les Savy Fav, Karate, Faraquet

Stream and Download at Bandcamp

I've been listening to this for a few months now, and every time I do it just gets better. Pine Barrens are from Manchester, UK (there is evidently a Pine Barrens from Philadelphia) and play a mix of dark hardcore and black metal. A bit like Tempest meets Bone Awl.  Anyway I finally found the tape for sale in the US a few weeks ago so I picked it up and remembered how good this demo is. I'm surprised this shit isn't more hyped to be honest.

FFO: Drainland, Bone Awl, Darkthrone

Stream, Download and Buy via Bandcamp

I was certain that the Masakari/Alpinist split LP was going to be the best thing to be released in this genre this year.  I was wrong. This is better.

FFO: Alpinist and Masakari

Stream a track at Bandcamp

Pre-order the US version from Cavity (when it happens) or Buy Euro from Distroy

Vacation are hard to peg. Aesthetically I think we're supposed to assume that they are a pop-punk band. Musically, describing them that way would be horribly innacurate.  On their self titled LP, Vacation draw from a lot of diverse decks.  Sometimes it's undeniably pop-punk. At others their lo-fi garage pop sound dominates.  Some parts even sound like big ticket indie rock, but somehow, every song sounds like all this shit at the same time. I don't know how they do it, and I really don't know how to describe it, but I can tell you that you're gonna like it.  

Stream and Download from The Recording Label

Buy it from Mandible Records

LVL UP comprises members of the NY emo band SIRS and lo-fi acts like Weird Korea and Morrison Brook.  They play throwback indie rock that sounds like Pavement (I'm sorry I compare everybody to Pavement), or a baby wrought from Modest Mouse and Superchunk.  "None of these bands sound the same" you might say.  OK then. "Space Brothers" is a jangly jamfest that will make your inner angsty teen grin like a nostalgic idiot. Or maybe that will only happen to me.

FFO: Modest Mouse, Superchunk, The Wrens, The Gifted Children

Stream at Bandcamp

Get it.

Remember in the last post when I talked about what made this all worth it?  Here is another shining example.  Town Portal are a math-rock band from Denmark with 2 members of Shelflife. The essence of Shelflife seeps through but Town Portal opens new doors.  The elements are pretty much all the same: dual guitars, thick basslines, shades of midwestern math-rock a la Shiner, Chavez, and Rodan, and precise mastering.  On Vacuum Horror though, the band significantly ups the heaviness quotient and basically rocks the fuck out.  Everything about this release is so good (the music, the art, the name) you have no excuse not to listen to it.

Stream and Download at Bandcamp

Completely awesome hardcore/punk/experimental stuff from Portland, OR.  I always try to write something significant that reflects how I feel about music I "review", or gives some reliable indication of what to expect from a release.  Mostly I completely miss this mark so I ask myself pretty much every time I think about writing something: why the hell do I do this?  Sloths is the answer.  I do it because occasionally somebody says 'listen to THIS' (see: Sleepies, Armada, Shat Shorts).

For Fans of: Self-Actualization

Stream and Download at Bandcamp

11:47 PM


Now that summer is over and I'm on back on land permanently I WILL be updating a lot more.  First I gotta catch up on some rad stuff from my inbox, then I will post some other crucial jams from this summer. 

Giant Peach are an indie pop/rock band from Long Island who are currently on tour with For Serious This Time.  I've been listening to these guys for a while but I just noticed they put up some new tracks bound for a split tape with FSTT.  Anywho, Giant Peach play pop/rock in the vein of bands like Pavement and Helium (in a sort of broad, reductionist way) with dueling male/female vocals.  I think this will be extra great around September.

I don't feel the need to justify this to anybody.  Suffice to say that it is the perfect follow up to "Black Sun/Fake Gold" and Gasmask Terror are unfuckwithable.  Get on it!

FFO: Skitkids, Ripping, Wailing, Shredding

Man this is awesome.  No frills, just all around fantastic pop-punk from two little known-bands who have got their shit correct.  Lipstick Homicide is a female-fronted band from Iowa that offers up some feel-good bike riding jams for hot summer days. Pretty kitschy, straight forward jingles, but catchy as all hell.  Billy Raygun...  I don't even know, their side is so god damn good. Dillinger Who?

FFO: Bad Banana, Dillinger Four, Lemuria, Ambulars,

      I'm posting this for finality, for closure.  A while back (a year or more, I guess) I ran across french alt-rock group Daria because their most recent LP "Open Fire" had been mixed by J Robbins, who had posted one of the tracks on his studio's myspace page.  I couldn't find more than a couple other songs, nor the album to download, so this record became somewhat of an elusive snipe to me.  I could have bought the cd but paying the exchange rate on top of international shipping for a cd, well you get the picture.  Anyway, I would occasionally look for this on google, blogs, and make requests for people to upload it on torrent sites and the like.  My attempts were all for not and my feelers eventually retracted.  Today though, I decided to do what I was sure would be a fruitless search, but much to my surprise, Daria had built a bandcamp site, AND put the whole album up for free download!  So here I am, still listening to it for the first time and I'm pretty jazzed, but having a hard time staying excited about this.  It's good, but a bit more 90's post-metal than I expected.  It sounds like it was mixed by J Robbins (bonus) and really the songs are all pretty fucking catchy.  Mostly it reminds of riff heavy alt-rock bands like Clutch and Hundred Reasons.  Screw it this rules.  Today is awesome

FFO: Helmet, Clutch, Traindodge, Hundred Reasons

Stream and Download at Bandcamp

Sneeze are a relatively new band from Boston who play a poppy sort of grunge/pop-punk amalgam.  They are embarking on a nation wide summer tour with The Clippers in July so be on the lookout for that.  Sneeze comprises members of L'antietam and Ape Up and they sound nothing like either of those bands which is pretty awesome.  "Grandma In The Trenches" is 8 songs worth of excellent 90's riff rock with a heavy post-punk feel that totally reminds me of Slowride.  Albeit a little rougher around the edges.  This needs to be in your rotation this summer.

Stream and Download at Bandcamp

Buy it from Bear Records

On their European tour, Iron Chic will be releasing 2 seperate 7"s (one a split with Pacer) but for those of us who don't live in Europe they have posted the songs from both as one digital EP for download via their bandcamp.  For those of you not in the know, Iron Chic are one of the best Jawbreaker/Lifetime/Latterman progeny bands going right now (particularly because they were Latterman).  Anyway, this is fantastic pop/beard/orgcore punk rock, and a hell of a way to follow up their 2010 LP "Not Like This".  Check this out.

FFO: Get Bent, Bridge & Tunnel, The Sidekicks

Stream and Buy (or get it free) at Bandcamp

So this finally came in the mail, which I suppose means it's about time to say a few words about it.  "Infrastructure" is the latest LP by California hardcore 3-piece Ghostlimb, and it is one of the stand-out records of the year.  Ferocious hardcore punk with an abundance of great riffs, subtle melody and a train load of pure energy, "Infrastructure" is far and away Ghostlimb's most realized, well-rounded effort to date.  Honestly this album caught me by surprise, as I suspected it to be merely good. A lot of hardcore bands that get way more attention are trying pretty hard to write a record like this.  Ghostlimb rip through 11 tracks and leave everything else in the dust with a final song aping hip folk punk bands like Against Me.  And they do that better too.

FFO: Graf Orlock, Punch, Unless, the bay area

Ghostlimb at Bandcamp

Buy it from Vitriol

Smug Brothers are another excellent lo-fi indie-pop group from Ohio who take their cues from the likes of Big Star and Guided By Voices (with whom they evidently share a drummer).  The 18 songs on "Fortune Rumors" float around from different eras and influences to give the whole album a lot of variety, but maintain its simplicity well enough.  Some songs are decidedly Beatles-esque while others sound like Superchunk.  If you dig anything the Tinhorn Planet has been releasing lately then you should check this out.

FFO: Guided By Voices, The Gifted Children, The Strungs

Stream and download at Bandcamp

Oh man, I almost forgot to post this.  Sleepies are back for the first time since releasing one of 2010's best LPs with a 2 song digital EP called "Hot Singles".  The Brooklyn band offers up more of the same snotty post-punk riffage that made me fall in love with the their LP last year.  If you aren't listening to this band, you're doing it wrong.

Stream and download at Bandcamp

Part three of this block of lady punk posts comes to us by way of another duo called Bad Banana.  Actually they now play with some other people but that is a minor semantic detail (because as we all know; duo means 'danger').  Anyhow this 7" just came out on Puzzle Pieces Records and is the perfect follow up to their 10 song demo "Crushfield".  With additional accompaniment and time behind the mixing board Bad Banana have gone from recorded-in-a-bathroom lo-fi pop punk to whatever comes next.  4 tracks of truly infectious summer jams that should have me biking, skating and flipping this record over and over until September.

Stream some of the demo tracks on Muxtape

Buy it from Puzzle Pieces

I picked this 7" up sort of on a whim when I tacked it onto some other stuff from Mountain Man Records.  As it turns out Lazy Mary is a Long Beach lady duo who play balls-out garage punk and (I would allege) just don't give a fuck.

Listen at Bandcamp

Buy it from Mountain Man

It is officially spring (for me anyway), and as everyone knows that means it is pop-punk season.  To kick off what hopefully becomes a string of related posts, I feel it necessary to post this EP by New Jersey trio Big Eyes.  This is perfect sunny weather, bike riding music.  Think The Runaways (oh yeah did I mention the singer was a lady?) mixed with proto pop-punk ala The Ramones.  Throw in some modern punk flair and a pretty strong surf influence and you have all the parts for Big Eyes.  I really hope this band releases an LP.

Buy it from Tankcrimes

People need to start hearing this shit.

Peep this post for info regarding the purchase of this record album

Go to Europe from April 25th to June 6th to see these guys.

This is one of those obligatory 'I support everything this band does' posts.  Back in late '09/early '10 (like forever ago dudes) I could have crashed the Ex Wife bandwagon by myself considering the speed with which I jumped aboard the hype train.  It seems like this EP is getting a lot of attention,  but it may just be my frame of reference.  On this (supposedly their final release) Ex Wife has added a bassist and relaxed a little bit.  At first I wasn't sure if I was a fan of their slower sound but after a few listens I realized it didn't make much of a difference. They still write killer songs that seem to evoke some level of emotional reaction from me that few bands can.  As a swan song "June" is appropriately melancholy, but what it misses in energy it makes up for in composition.  This band could have been something else and this proves it.

FFO: The other Ex Wife releases, the emo revival

Stream and download at Bandcamp

If you have any taste at all then you can probably skip this post because you definitely know everything it contains.  Or you could read it anyway and feel smug about how cool you are. If you have for some idiotic reason have not listened this band yet, then prepare to punch your genitals in regret/self-actualization. Either way the Big Kids will still be the best pop-punk band in the US/world/universe and they will still have 2011 by the balls with all the great music they are putting out.

Firstly, both the Hoop Dreams tape (Mountain Man Records) and LP (Protagonist) have been repressed.

Secondly, the Kids have a slew of NEW music being released.  Their split 7" with Koalacaust has been out and shipping from Mountain Man (see above) for a few weeks now. 

Mountain Man also has their newest EP "Don't Be A Baby" on cassette up for preorder right now.  A 7" version of said EP is available from Top Shelf for preorder as well.  These should be shipping in the next few weeks.

Soon enough they will also be releasing a split 7" with pop-punk freight train Joyce Manor.  Look for it soon at Solidarity Records.

AND, this summer Big Kids will be headed to europe to tour, but before that they'll be releasing a new LP stateside with Protagonist.

Excited yet?

Stream some new tracks at Bandcamp

Follow their Blog

More dark hardcore, this time by way of Vancouver, BC.  This LP came out sometime last year but the band is currently awaiting a fresh crop of wax to sell to the masses, and I'm hoping I can get my hands on one.  Tempest previously released a crazy good 4 song demo tape in 2008 and a 7" containing one song from the demo, one exclusive and (weirdly) the title track of their new LP.  Anyway this is really good and this post has been open in my browser for a week.  Apparently it won't write itself, but "Passages" will speak for itself.

FFO: Surroundings, Planks, Finisterre

Planks follow up their 2010 full length "The Darkest of Greys" with a 4 song 12" of songs leftover from sessions recording their LP.  Planks are from Germany and play a mix of crust-punk inpired hardcore with a heavy black metal feel.  Anyway, this EP doesn't feel like a collection of b-sides as much as a stand-alone record in the same vein as the previous album.  "Solicit to Fall" definitely holds its own in comparison to "Greys".   If you're into the sort of thing that labels like Vendetta (Germany) and Halo Of Flies (US) are doing then you should check this out.

FFO: Northless, Protestant, Black Freighter

Listen at Bandcamp

Boston's Daniel Striped Tiger is a band I've been on the fence about for a while.  I've listened to just about everything they've released and it's all pretty good.  You know? Pretty good.  If a DST record is playing, I will enjoy it no doubt.  If it isn't playing, I'm probably not going to put it on; until now.  "No Difference" is pretty much what I imagine of whenever anyone says 'post-hardcore' (mostly when I say it).  It has all the necessary elements: Angular rhythms, minor chord abuse, flucuating meter, artsy fartsy bits, actual melody, yelling but not screaming.  This record is far better than I expected or even hoped.  I am sorry Daniel Striped Tiger, I should never have doubted you.  Thank you very much.

FFO: Fugazi, Frodus, Drive Like Jehu

Daniel Striped Tiger on Myspace

Man, this album is something else.  It's one of those records that is always over before you realize it and begs to be restarted as soon as it is.  Memory Map are an indie-rock band from Bloomington, IN who share member(s?) with Good Luck and play a late 90's/early 00's indie pop/rock resurrection.  Comparisons to genre titans like Q And Not U and Dismemberment Plan are easy but fail to demonstrate the range on "Holiday Band".  It should give you an idea though.  Songs range from bright indie-pop a la The Shins to mathy DC-influenced rock (I suppose I made this point already) to folk punk.  Don't take that to mean that it's disjointed, because it is exceedingly well crafted.  One of the easiest records to listen to in recent memory. 

Reader note: I'm going to bring this FFO thing back even though it's annoying.  As redundant as it seems, even I like to see it sometimes.

FFO: Dismemberment Plan, The Joggers, Q And Not U

Memory Map at Bandcamp

You Wretch (YOUWRETCH) are a hardcore band from Minneapolis who play dark crustcore in the style of His Hero Is Gone and their progeny.  Styled in the past and polished in future, You Wretch deliver a completely solid EP from beginning to end.  Great riffs here, any fan of this genre should enjoy this.  Out on Fan The Flames records.

Listen at Bandcamp

I got the newest Herds 7" in the mail today and it and I'm way stoked on it.  Herds are a punk band from Chicago who play a version of roots hardcore with a grim modernity.  Residue Records (the Chicago label responsible for the last two Canadian Rifle releases) just released the band's Michigan EP.  Give it a listen and pick it up.

Listen at Bandcamp

Buy at Residue

Damn.  Tinhorn Planet strikes again early this year.  I was not familiar with The Strungs before about a week ago which seems weird because I follow this label pretty closely.  So when I came across it I had to listen to it immediately and I was thrilled.  This EP is like 10 perfect minutes of lo-fi guitar-driven pop-rock hyphen hyphen.  Ridiculously catchy; way too short.  My favorite release so far this year.

Get Volume 01 too (also amazing).

I need to pay closer attention to pop-punk.  I'm way too jaded about it and always miss great records because of it.  This is one those records that luckily I finally got around to listening to.  Stay Ahead Of The Weather is from Chicago and shares members with local emo acts Native, Into It. Over It. and Castevet.  So take those bands, multiply by Bridge & Tunnel and carry The Sidekicks and you'll get an idea of what to expect.  It's always great when two or more good bands come together and produce something of equal or greater value (see Able Baker Fox) and this has definitely happened.  Stay Ahead definitely have the emo influence of their parent bands (is this a term?) but are definitely rooted in punk, paying lyrical homage to Jawbreaker.  Anyway, this was released as a 7" by No Sleep Records back in October, and is sold out there but can still be found in a few distros.  Check it out.

I've slept on this long enough.  Gasmask Terror are a punk band from France who play some straightforward, fast, raw punk rock with generous guitar solos ala hardcore bands like Skitkids (for one).  The entire album is in the same key and tempo but the songs seldom reach the 2 minute mark.  They all sound pretty much the same, but when they are this good it's hard thing to complain about.  They rip through 11 tracks in just under 17 minutes, and they rip through them hard.  Shit is on.

Buy it from Solar Funeral

I've been trying to decide what to say about this record for a couple days now and I still can't seem to come up with anything relevant.  I don't listen to metal and never really have (save the occasional sludge joint).  This I suppose wouldn't strictly qualify, but it's probably the most metal record I've really enjoyed recently.  Anyway, Owen Hart is a grindcore band from Tacoma, WA and "Earth Control" is their first full-length effort.  It was released by Vitriol Records in December.  It's really not that far removed from Graf Orlock, though there are a lot more breakdowns, tempo changes and general guitar work (shredding, wailing, what-have-you).  At first I didn't know if I was going to like it, but it turns out, that even with its decidedly metal leanings, "Earth Control" is absolutely on point all the way through.

Buy it from Vitriol

Evidently Unless has been around a while but this is the only material they've ever officially released.  They've got a bunch of songs out there, given away on various demo cd's to people.  The most recent incarnation of Unless features Val from Punch and Loma Prieta on drums, and they play some version of metallic hardcore inspired by stuff like Botch and Converge, but with their own post-hardcore stamp.  They aren't a band anymore but this shit rips.

Shat Shorts is 3 dudes from Monument (and some other dudes), that twinkly emo revival band who are releasing an LP with the always solid Tiny Engines.  Now, before you go assuming shit, Shat Shorts sound nothing like Monument, which is awesome.  Not because Monument aren't good, they are (like I said they are releasing their LP with Tiny Engines who are nothing if not taste-makers).  Instead they play some fuzzed out blend of post-punk and hardcore.  They are releasing a split 7" soonish with Baltimore band Scum Again.  Check this out because it is excellent.  Sorry I couldn't think of anything useful to say.  
I need to work harder at this.

Got an email, the contents of which included a link to the new 7" by Milwaukee hardcore band Armada who " play fast hardcore punk in the vein of Left For Dead, Extortion, xFilesx, Charles Bronson".  It was a just description and I heard what I expected. And for once it was as good as I hoped it might be.  "Premonitions" is 6 rapidfire tracks in 6 minutes and it fucking kicks ass.  Think Like Rats if you need a frame of reference that I've actually used before.  Anyway, hardcore is always best in short bursts and Armada do (does?) not disappoint.  Nothing groundbreaking but totally genuine, fast, pissed and gooooood.

I don't even know what to say, but this should suffice: "Jangling guitar and fuzzed out bass Claliforna surf punk jams rooted in obscure DC Hardcore".  I couldn't really say it much better, and you really shouldn't need any additional description before you start clawing at the buy button.  Anyway, totally killer west-coast punk stuff a la Descendents, Adolescents, Aggression and the like.  If you dug that Sleepies LP you should be into this. If not, you should be anyway.  "Problems" is the jam of the year (probably).

Buy it from Headcount

I don't really understand how this band flew under my radar all of last year, considering they were involved with Run For Cover records and pretty much everything the label did in 2010 was shoved down my throat at every possible turn.  This isn't a bad thing, these are the dudes responsible for the much lauded Hostage Calm LP and the oddly overrated Tigers Jaw catalog. This particular EP was actually released on City of Gold but now that's irrelevant. That being said you should know what to expect, kind of a Polar Bear Club or Hostage Calm vibe.  Really they remind me of Above Them, perhaps because they are both from the UK.  Anyway they released this and a two song EP (called "Two Song EP", which I probably like more, but its only "Two Songs") last year and it is worth a listen, even if you are burned out on the modern melodic hardcore bit.

How long did you think I was gonna go before posting about these guys? Not long, is the answer. I won't bother with descriptions or comparisons because I don't feel like repeating myself, and I can't think of anything I haven't said already.  "Fallacy Stilts" is the first release of the year by TGC (as they will henceforth be known) and it's probably my favorite release since Always Stay Sweet (which is my favorite altogether).  I'm not counting the One Clear Minute series in that evaluation because I feel like those need to be considered seperately (no, don't ask why).  "Fallacy Stilts" is a great way to kick off what is sure to be a great year for these guys (what year isn't?), and they are kind enough to give it away for free.  Do them, and yourself a favor and get it now.

Stream and Download at 

Here's another band I've posted about already once, but bears repeating.  Tilts (if you didn't read it before) are the relatively new band featuring Andrew fucking Elstner, guitarist and lead singer of Ridde of fucking Steel, alright?  Now they have a bandcamp for easy sampling. GET INTO IT.

Karoshi is a hardcore band from Nashville with members of other Nashville acts like Dawn and Sanctions.  "Ichi" was released last October appropriately by local hardcore label Meatcube and for some reason I waited until now to listen to it.  Anyway, now I've heard it and it's pretty much the only thing I've listened to since then.  If you've heard Sanctions (who are due to release their final LP soon...ish) then you'll have a pretty good idea of what to expect from Karoshi.  There is a bit more fine-tuning, precise guitar work and melodic hardcore influence.  Not as raw as either Dawn or Sanctions but the idea is essentially the same.  If you like all the other stuff in this vein I post on here you are bound to love this (I think).

YUP.  There will probably be a few posts about these dudes this year so I'll keep this short.  The debut 7" is on the way via a kickstarter campaign and you can finally listen to a recorded version of the songs.  The A side being "Harden Your Heart" from that youtube video I posted and the B side, a Stranglers cover.  Thrilling.

Don't ask why I'm posting this now, or why I chose this Constantines record.  I like it the most of all their records even though I'm pretty sure that "Shine A Light" is somehow technically, an empirically better piece of work (and more relevant) all things considered.  "Kensington Heights" is by far their most polished album and a welcome improvement on "Tournament Of Hearts" which seemed lacking (despite having the best Constantines song, "Working Full Time").  They sanded down some of their post-punk edges and wrote a folkier take on their Black-Flag-meets-Bruce-Springsteen framework.  Shit rules.



Baton Rouge is dudes from French screamo band Daitro doing a more subdued emo/posthardcore thing.  I never got all that into Daitro despite all the praise that their latest album recieved.  I like this a lot better and am pretty excited about the record, which is out right now on Pure Pain Sugar.  So if you live in Europe pick it up from those dudes.  Bakery Oulet from Florida is handling a stateside release soon to come.  This whole thing reminds of the Violent Breakfast/Chambers thing I posted about a while ago, and I still fucking love that Chambers LP.  Happy 2011!

Check it out at their website.