Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Junior Battles


Junior Battles are a four-piece pop punk band from Toronto, Ontario, that formed in 2007. They can finally be taken out of the "long overdue post" pile, since this one has been a long time coming. Junior Battles are an incredible band that are equal parts catchy and energetic. I saw them a few times a few years ago and every time they were phenomenal, and that definitely translates on to their recorded material.

They're the kind of band for people in the 20's who secretly still yearn for the "golden age" of their teen years, but are simultaneously kind of tongue-in-cheek about it. Their lyrics are definitely a big part of what makes them so good, since they're able to tell some very relatable stories in a fun, not-so-serious ways. They have two vocalists, which makes for some great harmonies that double the awesome of their already-catchy melodies. As far as sound goes, they keep it very varied, with each song standing out for a particular melody, riff, tone, or something very definitive that separates it from the rest. The Alkaline Trio influence is clearly prominent, though fans of bands like The Lawrence Arms or The Flatliners could also get on board with Junior Battles. They're upbeat, they're nostalgic, and a straight-up fun band to listen to. Enjoy.

1. We're Not Coming Down
2. Will & Words
3. Hotel Bibles
4. Rip It Up
5. Decades
6. Boats

1. Basements
2. Major Label Bidding War
3. Update Your Resume
4. Roads? Where We're Going, We Definitely Need Roads.

1. F.O.D. (Green Day)
2. Ghostin' (Con El Lobo Adolescente)


1. Passing Out

1. Seventeen
2. Twenty Five
3. Nostalgic At 23
4. "Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?"
5. Birthdayparties vs. Punkroutine
6. Alternate 1985
7. Send The Pilots Away
8. Architecture
9. With Honours
10. Living On The Future Of Feelings / No Plan
11. Passing Out
12. Radio

1. (You Will Score The Winning) Goal
2. Rafts
3. Three Whole Years
4. Bunk
5. Believe It Or Not, George Isn't Home
6. Every Town
7. TPS Reports
8. Assholes On Rollerblades
9. 27th Floor!
10. Architecture II - Future Music For The Children Of The Future
11. (You Are Very Good At) Sports

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

On The Might Of Princes


On The Might Of Princes were a four-piece post-hardcore band from Long Island, New York that formed in 1998 and broke up in 2004. They've done a handful of reunion shows since then, but officially called it quits in 2013, the same year guitarist/vocalist Jason Rosenthal (also a member of The Brass) died. They released three albums in their time together, in addition to a demo cassette. The first of their two albums were re-released in 2007, which contained a handful of bonus tracks that I included below.

If On The Might Of Princes had to be described in one word, it would be dynamic. Quiet, whispered sections could build up into crushing climaxes of distorion and melody, heavy riffs could appear in the same song as gentle arpeggios, and screamed, sung, or whatever in between vocals top off the instrumentals. OTMOP were masters of odd time signatures, off-kilter chord shapes, low-end bass lines, and a definite tightness in their sound, even when each instrument seems to be a separate head on the same body. Long story short, they're a solid band that brought post-hardcore to popularity around the turn of the century, though were never quite as big as a band like At The Drive-In. Where You Are And Where You Want To Be is generally regarded as On The Might Of Princes' magnum opus, so that's where I'd suggest to start, though their other two albums are solid as well. Enjoy.

1. A Fond Farewell
2. Astoria
3. Anywhere in Europe
4. Drunk & Missing Vital Parts
5. A Shadow Taller Than You
6. An Allusion To Italy
7. Waterwings

1. Astoria
2. At Half Mast
3. Juliana/Taking The Long Way Home
4. The Snow Watchers
5. Anywhere In Europe
6. The Absentee Ballot
7. Waterwings
8. A Fond Farewell
9. A Shadow Taller Than You
10. A Thousand Words
11. Caboose
12. Drunk And Missing Vital Parts (Bonus Track)
13. An Allusion To Italy (Version) (Bonus Track)
14. Poison Of Youth (Bonus Track)

1. The Water Vs. The Anchor
2. And The Hat Stays On
3. If I Knew Numbers (The Stalemate)
4. Caboose
5. Old Wives Tale
6. An Allusion To Italy
7. As Long As She Doesn't Smoke
8. 13 Cheers For Beers And Bullshit
9. You Can Only Be So Careful
10. For Meg
11. Hell Or High Water (Bonus Track)
12. And The Hat Stays On (Version) (Bonus Track)
13. The Water Vs. The Anchor (Live) (Bonus Track)

1. No Sign Of The Messiah (Part II)
2. Go Fuck Yrself
3. The Swell And The Breaking
4. You Whistle, I'll Shoot
5. Here Come The Sirens
6. My Hands: Landmines, Landfills
7. They Made Me Do it
8. Spit Survival
9. Carry Go, Bring Come
10. Cloak & Dagger
11. They Have Teeth
12. OTMOP 10-tet (Hidden Track)

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Hotel Books


Hotel Books is a spoken-word project started by Cam Smith in Porterville, California in 2011. Their music is based on Smith's poetry, which is read over some ambient/indie instrumentals, which usually consist of some clean, noodly guitar sounds that are pretty commonplace for emo/math rock-esque bands. Hotel Books are definitely comparable to Listener, since share the same basic concept of spoken word being accompanied by gentle instrumentals. Cam Smith's vocal delivery is also pretty similar to Dan Smith's. In all honesty, I'm not really into this band. Not that there's anything really wrong with them, I could just get into them. However, they are by far one of the most requested bands I get, and their discography is small, so I see no reason not to share them with those of you looking for them. Enjoy.

1. Sometimes I Feel Like Nothing
2. Nothing Ever Changes
3. Changes Consume Me
4. I Always Thought I Would Be Okay
5. I Never Thought I Would Be Okay
6. Ghosts Can't Love (Part I)
7. MM/DD/YYYY (Part II)
8. Beliefs [Upon Contact]
9. Books [Anti- What Have You]
10. Car Crash
11. Boundless [MMXII Minus Two]
12. All My Friends Are Trees (Part III)
13. Faithless [Am I]
14. Hollow Light / Hollow Lover
15. Empty Courage / Empty Heart

1. Lose One Friend
2. Lose All Friends
3. Lose Yourself
4. Constant Collapse
5. Dreaming or Sinking
6. Two Eight One
7. America's Next Top Model
8. Cult Leader
9. Nicole
10. Lungs
11. Car Crash

1. Run Wild, Young Beauty
2. Constant Conclusions
3. July (Part One)
4. I Died With You
5. Nothing Was Different
6. Love Life, Let Go (feat. JT Woodruff)
7. 813 Maryland St.
8. Wooden Floorboards
9. Two Steps Back
10. Nothing Was The Same
11. August (Part Two)
12. Ten Steps Forward

1. Every Day, The Same
2. I Think You See Where This Is Headed
3. Where We Sleep Is Where We Dream
4. Constant Conflicts
5. Saltwater For Blood
6. Lesser
7. Friendly Crossfire
8. Can You Do Me A Kindness?
9. Alcoholocaust
10. Broke Love

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Cassus


Cassus are a four-piece screamo band from Norwich, UK that have been around since at least 2012. They got a little attention in 2013 between their split with the great ¡Silencio, Ahora, Silencio!, as well as appearing on Dog Knight Productions' Orchid cover album. They were certainly a solid band then, with the Orchid and Ampere influence reigning supreme. But it was at the tail end of 2015 that they released what could be considered one of the greatest screamo albums put out in the 2010's.

Their LP is incredible, and anyone who thinks the genre will never be bested again needs to hear this. The vocal style shifts between very distinct but different voices, which keeps them incredibly engaging. The instrumentals have this miraculous but paradoxical blend between chaotic and coherent that I can't even begin to understand. It's just as assaultive as it should be, and it never sounds too clean or tight, but at the same time never sloppy or messy. This band knows how play with each other perfectly, and it really translates to make the perfect record. There's plenty of melodic bits, that range from almost ambient to fast-paced riffs before heading right back into the dissonance. I suppose there's no point in rambling on about what makes this album good. Any fan of the genre who hears this will immediately be able to tell not only why it's good, but what makes it stand out so much. I am so excited to see what's next for these guys, and I definitely advise getting on board with them. Enjoy.

1. Cassus - Two Days Before The Day After Tomorrow
2. Cassus - Waltz
3. Cassus - Nothing Lasts
4. Cassus - Alpine Folk Rock
5. I Don't Want To Know Why The Caged Bird Sings - Our names were written in the sand, and I knew water would wash us over, but in those moments consequence had no place and my naivety knew no bounds...
6. I Don't Want To Know Why The Caged Bird Sings - No Funeral
7. I Don't Want To Know Why The Caged Bird Sings - Three
8. I Don't Want To Know Why The Caged Bird Sings - Batman Related Autoerotic Asphyxiation
9. I Don't Want To Know Why The Caged Bird Sings - One
10. I Don't Want To Know Why The Caged Bird Sings - Backing Away From Life

9. Victory Is Ours (Orchid cover)

Note: Full comp here

1. Cassus - Trilogy 1: Ostrich Hearts
2. Cassus - Trilogy 2: A Thousand Tiny Explosions Of Glitter
3. Cassus - Trilogy 3: All We'll Ever Need
4. ¡Silencio, Ahora, Silencio! - Il Est Bien Vengé AKA Miguel
5. ¡Silencio, Ahora, Silencio! - Potentia Absoluta Dei (Unclean Version)
6. ¡Silencio, Ahora, Silencio! - Outro-Pitsa Party

1. Tablecloth Welfare
2. Publicitaire
3. Exchange Rates Are Exactly What They Used To Be
4. Tired Of Being Tired?
5. Interlude
6. Glitter Is Made Of Plastic
7. We Are All Broken Circuits
8. Proto-Post-[Axiom]
9. Bubblegum Baby

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Hoover


Hoover were a four-piece post-hardcore band from Washington, DC that formed in 1992 and broke up in 1994. They briefly reformed in 1998 to record an EP of odds and ends tracks they never ended up completing through their actual time as a band. They also played a handful of shows in 2004, but have been inactive since then.

Hoover came around at an interesting time in DC's punk/hardcore history. Over a decade ago, bands like The Teen Idles, Minor Threat, Iron Cross, Faith, the list goes on, had formed and defined DC and Dischord "hardcore". Following that, there were changing musical and political ideals, thus "Revolution Summer" comes along with Rites of Spring, Embrace, Beefeater, Soulside, Ignition, essentially another long list of bands with the same members of the aforementioned bands. The city had already had a rich and progressing musical history, that basically resulted in the birth of Fugazi, the only band that matters. I'm kidding of course, but "post-hardcore" (whatever you want to call it) had essentially become the main form of musical expression in late 80's DC. Along with the obvious Fugazi, bands like Nation Of Ulysses and Lungfish had also started up and spearheaded the Dischord label into the new decade. Obviously these bands are all incredibly influential, mostly because they're amazing, forward-thinking bands, but also because they came to be at the perfect time to just explode. Hoover, who began in 1992, kind of just missed the boat on that, since most of their DC contemporaries were off touring the country (or planet), while they were just getting started.

They worked with Dischord, and that sound is blatantly obvious while listening to them. Bass-heavy rhythms, syncopated instrumentation, harsh vocals, all defined this incredibly tight band who knew how to play off of each other. Fugazi and Lungfish are definite influences, but Hoover also had a lot in common with other bands starting to form at the same time, like Drive Like Jehu or Indian Summer. Their short lifespan is also something they shared with those bands, where they came and left, but managed to push out some astounding material in very little time. Hoover's songs were also fairly long in length, featured repeated rhythms that would build and crash, and a marching intensity that warrants a mention of Slint comparison for. Trap yourself in a room for a week with Repeater and Spiderland and you might have some idea of where Hoover were coming from.

Hoover are a band I cannot recommend enough to fans of 90's post-hardcore/emo. They're somewhat well-known, but only really only among fans of that era. So anybody being introduced to Fugazi or Drive Like Jehu should definitely get into Hoover, who were kind of the darker side of bands like that. They could have used a lot more attention than they got, since they put out some underground classics. The split with Lincoln is perfect on both sides, and their sole LP The Lurid Traversal Of Route 7 is a mindfuck to explore. Enjoy.

1. Side Car Freddie
2. Cable

1. Hoover - Two Down
2. Lincoln - Bench Warmer

1. Distant
2. Pretender
3. Electrolux
4. Shut
5. Route 7
6. Regulator Watts
7. Father
8. Cable
9. Letter
10. Cuts Like Drugs
11. Return
12. Private
13. Dries

Note: Last three songs are from the Private 7"

6. Breather Resist (Demo)

1. TNT
2. New Five Drive
3. Breather Resist
4. Weeds
5. Relectrolux/Electrodub

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Love Lost But Not Forgotten

"Blessed are the forgetful, for they get the better even of their blunders". Sadly, that's not the case for some. V-Day, 2016. Are the reeeeegrets still killing you? Did you think it was just never meant? Or was it destined to happen as sure as the summer ends? Another year lost, and we are now on our fourth installment of Sophie's sad jamz day. This year is a little on the angrier side, though just as good to air grievances to.


Love Lost But Not Forgotten were a screamo/emo violence band from St. Peter's, Missouri. They formed in 1997 but broke up in 2002, because nothing good lasts and everything ends, so what's the point of even starting?? Funnily enough, they were signed to a small label called Happy Couples Never Last, which is fitting for the season. If Love Lost But Not Forgotten was anything, it was intense. They emerged with a really dark, chaotic, almost violent sound that reflected the gruelling pain expressed in the lyrics. They hit hard, and fans of bands like Tristan Tzara, Usurp Synapse, and Joshua Fit For Battle would definitely take interest. They started out with a pg.99-esque line-up featuring three guitarists and two vocalists, though by their final album they had narrowed it down to two guitarists and one vocalist. Regardless of the line-up, they always displayed some impressive musicianship along with the painstaking passion they perfect. I hope you enjoy this band, and hope you can make it through another lonely day spent trying to forget how she loved the train but hated the station. Hopefully things will be better by next year, and enjoy.

1. Swallowed
2. Unfound
3. Drown
4. Cutting Away The Flesh

1. Joshua Fit For Battle - Song One
2. Love Lost But Not Forgotten - Drowned
3. Love Lost But Not Forgotten - Unfound
4. Joshua Fit For Battle - Song Three

5. Metaphors of A Bleeding Heart

1. Intro
2. Means To No End
3. Loathing
4. Save Me From The Outside World
5. Believe
6. Supine
7. Push Past
8. Cutting Away
9. Drown
10. Unfound
11. Swallow
12. Outro

1. It Never Happened
2. Calm And Secure
3. Happy To Be Alive

1. Intro
2. Typical Fashion
3. Perfectly Fucked
4. Headless, Sleeping Soundly
5. What's Left Of "Shitlife"
6. Happy To Be Alive
7. It Never Happened
8. Calm And Secure
9. Nobody's Watching Department 2

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Pinkshinyultrablast


Pinkshinyultrablast are a five-piece shoegaze band from St. Petersburg, Russia that formed in 2007. I just found out they put an album out last year that I somehow completely missed, and have another new album coming out this month. This is mind-blowing since their debut EP is easily one of my favourite shoegaze releases in the past handful of years. I can't recommend it enough. It's got all the melody you'd expect, from the faint vocals to the clean, chorus and reverb-soaked guitars, and even all-out blasts of distortion to coat the shimmers of melody. All the obvious influences are in the mix, such as Slowdive, Cocteau Twins, Lush, Ride, you know the names. Happy Songs For Happy Zombies isn't reinventing any wheels, but it's definitely got an amazing motion to it. I cannot recommend enough to any fan of shoegaze, especially those who think the genre begins and ends with Loveless and Souvlaki, and anything after the turn of the century is irrelevant. I'm incredibly excited to give the album a listen, and just wanted to quickly throw a post up about them, so enjoy.

1. blaster
2. Deerland
3. Honeybee
4. Ode To Godzilla

1. Wish We Were
2. Holy Forest
3. Glitter
4. Metamorphosis
5. Umi
6. Land's End
7. Ravestar Supreme
8. Marigold

1. Initial
2. Grow Vastly
3. I Catch You Napping
4. Kiddy Pool Dreams
5. Comet Marbles
6. The Cherry Pit
7. Mölkky
8. Grandfeathered

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

The Brave Little Abacus


The Brave Little Abacus were an indie/emo/math rock band from somewhere in New England that formed in 2008 and broke up in 2012. Here's a band that did not even get a 10th of the attention that they deserved, but are definitely loved by everyone who has had the chance to hear them. They mesh twinkly guitars with synthesizers and brass instruments, make great use of samples, have some unique vocals, and together form this colossal sound. As far as comparisons go, The World Is A Beautiful Place is a good starting point, though the Brave Little Abacus came slightly before. All your other favourite bands, such as Snowing and Algernon Cadwallader are decent comparisons, though it's near impossible to find anything truly resembling The Brave Little Abacus. I highly recommend giving them a listen, especially if you're looking for bands like the aforementioned with a more technical/experimental side. They self-released pretty much all of their material, except their final EP, Okumay. Enjoy.

1. The Buffalo
2. You're Not Me, But Neither Am I
3. Imaginary Peaks, Imaginary Beasts
4. El Capitano

1. Matt Aspinwall - I
2. Matt Aspinwall - II
3. Matt Aspinwall - III
4. Matt Aspinwall - IV
5. Matt Aspinwall - V
6. The Brave Little Abacus - Sol
7. The Brave Little Abacus - (Yes, he did help overthrow Fulgencio Batista, but​,​) Che Guevara didn’t wear his own t​-​shirts
8. The Brave Little Abacus - Good Atmosphere
9. The Brave Little Abacus - Untitled
10. The Brave Little Abacus - El Capitano (different mix)

1. I See It Too.
2. "But I Won't Always Be On The Receiving End!"
3. A Map Of The Stars
4. Waiting For Your Return, Like Running Backwards
5. (Through Hallways)
6. "He Never Even Existed In The First Place"
7. Born Again So Many Times You Forget You Are
8. (Underground)
9. Remember To Wave (When Looking Down From The Clouds)
10. It's A Lot. It's Seamless.

1. Pile! No Pile! Pile!
2. Please Don't Cry, They Stopped Hours Ago.
3. Boy's Theme
4. A Highway Got Paved Over My Future, I Drive It Getting To School.
5. The Blah Blah Blahs
6. Can't Run Away
7. Untitled (Cont.)
8. Aubade (Morning Love Song)
9. It's Not What You Think It Is
10. Allston, Massachusetts December 2009—January 2010
11. Bug-Infested Floorboards—Can We Please Just Leave This Place, Now.
12. Orange, Blue With Stripes

1. For GeOn (For Colin)
2. 45 Minutes from "Somewhere Out There"
3. Don't Come Around Here No More (Please)
4. Introducing Morrissey (The Ergs! Cover)

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Seaway


Seaway are a five-piece pop punk band from Oakville, Ontario that formed in 2011. After being raised on a steady diet of blink-182, they quickly gained attention with one particular song and video, "Sabrina The Teenage Bitch". Watch it and you'll probably see why. Following that, it was no where but up for them really, with a handful of EP's and two full-lengths (their latest on Pure Noise) to follow. Seaway are definitely a band to be on any posi pop punk kid's radar. They must be, since they're probably the band I get the most requests for as of late. I held off on posting them because admittedly I don't really listen to them a ton, they kind of blend together with Knuckle Puck, Major League, State Champs, bands like that. Regardless, they've got a handful of decent songs, and they're worth sharing if so many of you are interested in them. A slight sidenote, but kudos to them for reppin' Oakville and not claiming to be from Toronto (which is about 45 minutes away), it's cool to see some smaller town pride. Enjoy.

1. The Basics
2. Sabrina The Teenage Bitch
3. Familiar Faces
4. Punk Song

1. Emily Feat. Brad Garcia (From First To Last cover)

1. Seaway - Homewrecker
2. Seaway - Middle Finger
3. Seaway - Lifted
4. Safe To Say - Wished You The Worst
5. Safe To Say - Entirely
6. Safe To Say - Dead Birds

1. Hourglass
2. Puddles
3. Over My Youth

1. Expectation
2. What's Really Good
3. Keep Your Stick On The Ice
4. Too Fast For Love
5. Puddles
6. Slowing Down
7. Shy Guys
8. No Direction
9. The Weight
10. Hourglass
11. Deferral

1. Your Best Friend
2. Alberta
3. The Let Down
4. If I Came Back For You

1. Slam
2. Best Mistake
3. Trick (So Sweet)
4. Freak
5. Still Weird
6. Stubborn Love
7. Big Deal
8. Airhead
9. Growing Stale
10. The Day That She Left
11. Turn Me Away
12. Goon

1. Apartment
2. Neurotic
3. London
4. Lulu On The Beach
5. Something Wonderful
6. Curse Me Out
7. Day Player
8. Misery In You
9. Scatter My Ashes Along The Coast Or Don't
10. Car Seat Magazine
11. 40 Over
12. When I Hang Up