Thursday, January 31, 2013

Split Cranium

Split Cranium - Split Cranium (2012)

Split Cranium will do as their name suggests; split your cranium open and pour melting hot Finnish stoner rock mixed with American crust punk down into where your brain should be located.

And personally, I'm fine with that.

Split Cranium features Aaron Turner formerly of Isis (along with Old Man Gloom, Lotus Eater, Mamiffer, etc.), Jukka Kröger, Samae Koskinen of Steel Mammoth, and Jussi Lehtisalo of Steel Mammoth, Circle and Pharaoh Overlord. This self title is one of the last releases by Hydra Head Records, founded by Aaron Turner, after the label called it quits on new releases back in September. Hydra Head Records is not officially dead yet and are still selling all of the material and merchandise they have to pay of debts and such.

It's really a shame to see such an influential and all around important record label have to close its doors... :....(

Highlights: "Little Brother", "Blossoms for Boils", "Spectres to Rust", "Black Binding Plague", and "Yellow Mountain".

Also: Check out Split Cranium's official sky mask. Perfect for this cold cold weather we've been having!

I hate it when my left eye is cold, too.
They should make official hard hats while they're at it.

Get it?

Hydra Head Records

Monday, January 28, 2013


Music soup for the chicken soul.

Slim Charles - Versus Fatso Jr. (2011)

Cattle Drums post lots of interesting bands on their Facebook page. 

This one is Slim Charles, a progressive/math rock/indie/"crunknasty" band from New York. 

Props to Cattle Drums - a totally rad band as well (check 'em out if you haven't silly).

Pill Friends are a noisy, lo-fi garage rock/basement jingle band out of or around Philly. 

I would describe them of a much more listenable Teen Suicide (since I'm just name dropping tonight rather than saying anything about the music).

Who wants to listen to teen suicide anyway? That's horrible.

Track 5 is a cover of Elvis Depressedly's "Mickey Yr a Fuck Up".

Really though, that's horrible.

Comadre - Comadre (2013)

Comadre are a hardcore punk from California. Even though I've been playing these guys since their split with Trainwreck from 2010 and they have released material since at least 2004, this is their first self-titled full length.

Maybe they are ready to sell out like Metallica did in 1991? Maybe they want to be Metallica?

They probably don't want to be Metallica.

Highlights include: "Cold Rain", "The Moon", "Drag Blood", "Date Night", and the other songs...

The Cold Rain single that goes along with this release is very good to my ears as well. It's also free...

Nutmeg State of Mind - In Honor of Newtown

Various Artists - Nutmeg State of Mind (2013)

Here's a nice little album with a big heart. It's a benefit/tribute/honor album dedicated to those who lost their lives in Newtown, CT during the Elementary School shooting last December. Along with giving you a taste for the variety in the Connecticut music scene, all proceeds to the purchase of Nutmeg State of Mind goes to the mental health care organization, Mental Health America. 

It's a shame to see another innocent and safe town in America have to add their name to a horrendous school shooting (or any type of incident like this) list, but it's really great to see people stepping up for their state and supporting those who lost their lives much too soon (and their families), as well as looking into mental health help for those who might be in need but can not afford it. Folks on the news and in the paper often want to get into the debate about gun restrictions, and maybe they should, but what really needs to be looked at, which isn't as easy to monitor, is the mental condition of someone who may want to harm others as a way of seeking attention. Usually in the cases of such terrible shootings like we unfortunately had to hear of again in America - they are cry for help. A cry for help that may have been too late.

Anyways, I really feel like this is an awesome way to give back to Newtown and supports an important cause even if you are not familiar with any of the music that is on this album. No, It's not much but it's something . 

Be sure to check out Nutmeg State of Mind and donate if you can:

This album features all sorts of different genres and styles from Connecticut-based musicians and bands like Electronic (Color Plus, Steeve), hip-hop (Acemo, Chef the Chef, Ghost Row), indie rock/pop (A Beacon School, Fins, The Guru, M.T. Bearington), acoustic (Sidewalk Dave, Jefferson Washington, Closely Watched Trains, DawnMother), and many more.

A special thanks has to go out to Terry Carr and Peter Kelly from for putting this album together. 

Monday, January 21, 2013


All this talk of MLK is making me thirsty...

SRVVLST - I Would But I'm Baroque (2012)

SRVVLST (yes, as in 'Survivalist') is a post-whatever - or as puts it - a post-everything four piece from Ohio. 

They twinkle, they noodle, they shout, they get intimate, and they survive. 

In my book, that's about all a band needs to do to count as post-everything anyways. 

Sinforiano Diaz - The Moosup Seassions (2012)

Sinforiano Diaz is the solo moniker of This World is a Beautiful Place & I am No Longer Afraid to Die's Tom Diaz. It also features Axel Diaz on guitar and John Bowles guitaring and singing some back up vox. 

Tom Diaz replaces the electric twinkly feels with acoustic, sometimes uke-driven, but still twinkly feels here on this little four song release entitled, 'The Mossup Sessions' after the session of which he recorded this, in Mossup, Connecticut. 

Fans of Crywank, Waxahatchee, Warren Franklin, John Galm, and other solo acoustic singer-songwriter acts will most likely dig this gravely.

PS: It has just come to my attention that Tom Diaz may not be playing in TWIABP anymore... which is lame. 

Iron Sword - Demo (2012)

Iron Sword is a super intense and sloppy stoner metal band from Burlington. 

They're going to be playing a neck-breakingly good show (from the looks of it) with hometown sweeties, WARANIMAL (if you live in Maine and like metal and haven't seen WARANIMAL play, I feel bad for you son!) along with The Proselyte (MA), Eastern Spell (ME), and Lunglust (MA) on the 25th!

I don't know if I'll be able to swing down to see this mega stacked line-up in Portland on Friday (that's when it's happening of course. Put it on your shredule if you haven't already), but Iron Sword is also playing a show the next night (Saturday) at Orono which looks to be a real rager as well and is much closer to my current location. ;)

Hell, maybe I'll just go to both!

Hopefully dese boys bring there samples with them from this demo - including the Dazed and Confused Matthew Mcconaughey sample at the beginning of "Stairway to Hell"! Check it out:

Here's the poster for the show Friday night for your viewing Lord of the Rings pleasure as well:

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Speaker For The Dead

Speaker For The Dead - I Hope You Have Fun While You Sleep (2011)

While visiting friends on my first night back from school for Winter Break, I got a chance to see the nightmare fuel Portland folk outfit, Butcher Boy perform one of their last sets before packing up their things and voyaging off onto their nationwide-ish tour. The church-turned-performing arts venue on Mayo Street where Butcher Boy were playing also featured a band I had yet to witness called Speaker For The Dead, a Worcester-born folk punk collective with a bit of a pep in their step fronted by Greg McKillop, the gentleman who put on this whole wonderful event.

And while not knowing what to expect from a band that seemed to be half a folk punk band and half a brass section that I thought would play ska music (but ended up playing more of a gypsy rock accompaniment), Speaker For The Dead definitely made a tremendous impression on me that night. It was the kind of clean fun and excitement that I needed and hadn't experienced in a long while.

Seeing these folks was a real nice treat to me on my first night back and a hell of a way to ease into my winter vacation. I suggest anyone who likes upbeat punk music with horns and blacksmiths wielding guitars to check SFTD out! Or even, if you just like music that makes you jump out of your chair (remember those at shows?) and dance around with strangers like there's no tomorrow!

Speaker For The Dead can surely do that to a person!

Speaker For The Dead have lots of music to choose from in their discography but 'I Hope You Have Fun While You Sleep' seems to be their most accessible album to date. It's also their most recent not counting Greg McKillop's new solo album that was released a month ago today.  

Highlights: "Journal", "Pile of Dirt (Allenby Beardsly cover)", "If You're Dead Please Raise Your Hand", and "I Hope You Have Fun While You Sleep Pt. 2"

And: For all you book readers out there, I'm pretty certain that the name of this band comes from the Ender's Game series written by Orson Scott Card, a series I almost read as a kid (which doesn't sound like much, but for someone who doesn't read anything, this is a big deal).

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Kowloon Walled City - Container Ships

Kowloon Walled City - Container Ships (2012)

Here's some good stuff from the sludge metal department.

It's Kowloon Walled City's (San Fran) new 7-song album entitled, 'Container Ships' - released about a month ago.

Highlights: "The Pressure Keeps Me Alive", "50s Dad", "Container Ships", "Cornerstone", and "Wrong Side of History"

By the way, all of Kowloon Walled City's releases are free via their official site and Bandcamp!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Friday Streaming!

Here's some music to listen to...

Modern Baseball - Sports (2012)

Modern Baseball are a little indie emo band from Philly.

While I'm not too sure what to think of Sports, Modern Baseball's debut album released back in November, I do enjoy the sort of 90's indie rock feel to it that I usually always enjoy.

These guys remind me of The Front Bottoms but a little less clever and not as catchy. Modern Baseball though, like The Front Bottoms, still possess that attitude of "yeah we sound like we are from the 90's or something but we're still going to sing about taking pictures with our phones and twitter".

Truthfully though, I also hate that twitter song Modern Baseball have called, "@chl03k". I really don't want to hear about "checking tweets" or "Facebook statuses" in my music. It's a pet peeve of mine; even if they are making fun of the whole loss of real human interaction with the invention of internet friends and all that jib-jab.

 It just makes my skin crawl. 

But this isn't about me, this is about music...

So check these guys out:

This debut album by Creepoid - also from Philly - entitled, 'Horse Heaven' is not your average No Idea Records release. 

Unlike what I expected from such a band that has recently been signed to No Idea Records, this is not Hot Water Music - Orgcore-type music (not that that is a bad thing) by any means. No, Creepoid is really much more of a grunge band than a punk band; the kind of grunge band that also incorporates a bit of slowcore and heavily distorts their music with old music recording devices and dirt.

Creepoid reminds me of another one of my favorite acts, Dead Confederate. The small differences here would be that Dead Confederate have a bit more of a southern tinge to them and Creepoid take more influence from bands like Low or Spain. However, the way that both bands have that nice and slow build-up into a big pile of layered sound is definitely what made me think of mentioning these two bands' similarity.

My current favorite track off 'Horse Heaven' would have to "Grave Blanket" which has a very visually-interesting music video to go along with it...

Creepoid also has a nice split with slowcore labelmates, Shores - which is very easy on the ears - as well. Hint, hint: It'll probably be featured in my next all-split post coming soon!

Lord Earth - Napalm, Baby! (2012)

I'm not sure how I missed this one, but according to my sources, not only is this new instrumental metal group known as Lord Earth from the Portland (ME) area, they are actually from my hometown of South Portland - that place that is south of Portland with the big brick building (according to a Portland local I met once).

Lord Earth's debut album, 'Napalm, Baby!' was released last March without my knowledge and the boys behind this death machine called a band have supposedly been putting on some pretty rockin' metal shows all over Portland ever since.

Lord Earth play a mix of sludge-y doom and heavy metal with zero vocals, letting their sweet rhythms and guitar-work do the talking/singing/shouting for them.

I also must note that while 'Napalm, Baby! sounds incredibly good production-wise, I have a feeling that these guys are much heavier in person than what their album is sharing with us...

It looks like I'll be putting Lord Earth on my must-see list for 2013, no doubt.

Oh yeah, and No Doubt too!

They're back right?

Enjoy your weekend and stay out of the cold!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

By Surprise's New 7'', Criteria OUT NOW!

By Surprise - Criteria (2013)

YEAH, YEAH, YEAH! After about a month (maybe more) of teasing us with the "Criteria" stream, By Surprise finally released their two other gems (about wearing crowns and being tall) that make up this new 7incher.

YEAH, it's only three songs... but come on, at least this means By Surprise have new music and aren't dead like Spraynard or Algernon Cadwallader are now. Which is a shame.

ALSO, for all you magical cable box watchers out there, I believe I heard that "Criteria" is a listenable song on Music Choice University - a new Music Choice Channel for hip stuff apparently.


Topshelf Records

Monday, January 14, 2013


Long. Live.Monday

Keiko Tsuda - Sake Duo Kit (2012)

Some nice Japanese electro math punk rock from Lyon, France.

Keiko Tsuda released two albums on Bandcamp last year, this one being the first.

Hot Tears - EP (2012)

Hot Tears is not a new Katie Perry project.

It's actually a quint little indie rock/pop project by Molly Fischer who mostly plays every instrument except for cello which was provided by Erica Freas of my last post and how I found out about this unfortunately unknown wonder.

I especially enjoy the last track, "Cliffs" myself.

Victor Shores - People EP (2011)

"Just 3 weird doods with 3 loose moods."

Mood-swinging good emo that gets a little shouty but only in the bestest, coolest meaning of the word.

Glass Fingers - Do You? // Remixes (2013)

Featuring remixes of Glass Fingers' new sensually seductive single, "Do You?" by local hardbodies Mr. Neet, Computer at Sea, Jared Fairfield (as Jared Fartfield), Afraid, and Glass Fingers himself along with the album cover HE DIDN'T WANT YOU TO SEE!

Along with the remixes and the original version of "Do You?", this snazzy little bundle of naughtiness comes with an acoustic version for all the ladies out there.

Warning: this album may cause boners. Raging female boners.

That is all.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

RVIVR's Erica Freas' New Solo Album, Belly

While I wait patiently for the new RVIVR album, which was originally going to be released last fall but then their shit got stolen and all that, there is still always Erica Freas's new solo release to be listened to:

Erica Freas - Belly (2012)

This snazzy  new solo effort by Erica is filled with material from all over. While most of the tracks are original pieces, some songs like "Gamma" (an adaption of RVIVR's "Grandma") or "Spider Song" (an acoustic version of a song off the new RVIVR album) come from other places. The song "Belly" is also played on Erica's first solo one-take session, 'Help is in the Hair' from 2007 as well.

It's possible there are also some reused tracks from another band that Erica is in called Lightnin' Round. I've only ever heard their 2010 material so I'm pretty much in the dark about which song(s) come from that project.


RVIVR as a whole also have a very interesting music video for the more electrified "Spider Song" which is taken from the puppet-induced green screen short film, Bye Bye Burdy 2... the sequel to the first Bye Bye Burdy, of course...

I don't want to give anything away, but Erica plays the really cool Frost Queen who restores The Joester to his normal size with the help of the Old Spider Woman.

Oops, I gave it away.

Rumbletowne Records
RVIVR's Blog

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Beast 0f 2012 part deux

Long overdue.

My apologies.

Chalk Talk - Bad Influence EP (2012)

Toast you brain 'cause toast tastes good.

Highlights: Every song except for the stupidly named intro. Thanks guys!

Sex Cave Records
Official page

Hop Along - Get Disowned (2012)

There are some parents whose children long for divorce.

Highlights: "Tibetan Pop Stars", Diamond Mine", "Laments", "Trouble Found Me", and "Young and Happy! "

So pretty much every song...

Official page

KYOTY - Undiscovered Country of Old Death and Strange Years in the Frightful Past (2012)

Highlights: "14", "08", "12", and "15"

Tokyo Jupiter Records
Official page

Wreck and Reference - No Youth (2012)

Highlights: "Spectrum", "Nausea", "Cannot", and "Winter"

Flenser Records

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Swaath/Correspondences Split

Swaath/Correspondences - Split tape (2012)

Swaath is a slow-brewing doom-y mess from the mean streets of Portland, Maine.

Seriously though, Swaath play some nice waves of riffs with the echoing vocals and all that good sludge stuff. I saw Swaath the other night with Sylvia (a chaotic metal outfit filled with ex-members of some legendary Maine metal band, Ocean) and a new metal act (featuring members of Shabti, Hessian, and Paige Turner), Eastern Spell, and these Swaath punks have a real knack for making some dastardly delicious music. Folks may not have been bouncing off the walls like they were for Sylvia, but necks were definitely snapping to these guys and their haunting doom music.

Swaath are currently on a New England tour right now until the 12th.

This tape by Swaath is also half of a split with Maine's bass/cello/drums all chick all doom band, Correspondences.

Correspondences, who I may or may not have mentioned here before, are a very interesting treat no doubt about it. They have traded in traditional electric guitars for a cello to give their music/set a much more atmospheric, yet spiraling-into-the-pits-of-despair feel that is both fun to watch and fun to hear. Correspondences are a must-see for any local music fan around dees pahts.

Hopefully Correspondences are playing some shows in 2013. For 2012, they not only opened for Dead Dog at a "Pussy Riot Legal Defense" show but also opened for Thee Silver Mt. Zion this summer with Awaas which was top-notch stuff.

Swaath's B-spot
Correspondences's F-book

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Very Berry Best 0f 2012 part 1


Duck. Little Brother, Duck! - Don't Take Our Filth Away (2012)

I picked up Duck. Little Brother, Duck!'s 2012 release, 'Don't Take Our Filth Away' this summer when they returned to "the other" Portland after tearing the roof down (almost literally - mind you) a year before. And while their set was cut short by a police scare in the basement of Poland Street, these guys still got a chance to play some of their new (to us at least) numbers and return to one of the places DLBD! actually  wrote about and featured in one of their tracks from this release. I wish I could tell you which song that was that references Poland Street and the incident with the shit pipes breaking and leaking dirty punk water everywhere, but I can not.

I know it's in there though.

Highlights: "Everybody Loves Screamo", "OMGMT", "I'm Just happy To Be Around So Many Docks", and "Calvin Young"

Topshelf records put out so many good records by so many good bands this year. So much good.

The Tallest Man On Earth - There's No Leaving Now (2012)

The Tallest Meng On Earth is no stranger to this blog, neither is what he's playing here on his release from last year, 'There's No Leaving Now'. What I mean by that is this is just classic TTMOE doing what he does and has been doing for some time now. But is it? Is this just another generic Swedish Bob Dylan release about running away?

To me, following Kristian Matsson's work for a few years now, this is just the next chapter for him in the Tallest Man On Earth storybook. It started off just him and his guitar basically and now he's off using moving-drums with brushes and piano. Matsson is exploring the possibilities best he can without losing that signature sound of his and without that natural/organic feel. Is it a slow progression? Very much so, but I can't complain really - It's another TTMOE album and another one I can listen to beginning to end over and over again.

Is it for everyone? Nah. Is it a good TTMOE to start with? Nah. Is it his best? Nah. Am I asking to many questions like this? I think you get the picture.

Highlights: "Revelation Blues", "1904", "Wind and Walls", and "On Every Page"

Aesop Rock - Skelethon (2012)

"Here is how a great escape goes when you can't take your dead friends names out your phone"

Need I say more?

Highlights: "ZZZ Top", "Cycles To Gehenna", "Zero Dark Thirty", "Gopher Guts", and the bonus track, "Dokken Rules feat. Rob Sonic"


Spook Houses - Trying (2012)

Spook Houses' debut LP, 'Trying' really impressed me right from the start. I mean immediately after posting this release on MONDAY XXXXXI I felt I should have given these guys their own post and more of an actual review. I'm not too good at doing either I suppose so I kept listening to Spook Houses and their powerful debut album more and more until it really clicked and I knew this was a top contender for AOTY. So yeah, that's why this album is back.

Plus singing saws still rule!

Highlights: "Bad Sound", "Old Folks", "Family Plan", and "Search For"

Serengeti - C.A.R. (2012)

Serengeti is the first member of this list to be a new find for me in 2012. While a member of one of my favorite collectives, Anticon, I think I just found this Chicago alt-rap native by accident one day. Long story short, I was spinning his Shaq inspired track, "Shazam" from his Kenny Dennis alter ego EP also from last year on a mixtape I made for my c.a.r., and I had to hear more of this guys stuff. Luckily for me he had plenty of solo and collab material in his catalog  Three of which from 2012: 'Kenny Dennis EP', 'C.A.R.', and his collaboration with Sufjan Stevens and Son Lux as s / s / s who also released their album 'Beak & Claw'.

Clearly Serengeti was on top of his game this year, something that really deserves some kind of recognition.

C.A.R. was his last release of the year and produced by Jel & Odd Nosdam as I've mentioned before. It also features Yoni Wolf of another one of my favorite acts, Why? on Geti's track, "Geti Life". Yoni also co-produced Geti's solo album in 2011 with Casiotone for the Painfully Alone's Owen Ashworth (who is also from Advance Base who have collaborated with Serengeti on a single called, 'Be A Man').

Highlights: "Greyhound", "Amnesia", "Geti Life (with Yoni Wolf)", "Peekaboo", and "Go Dancin"

P.S. That movie that Shaq was in where he as a genie was called "Kazaam". I think Serengeti is aware of this though since he has the superhero "Shazam" on the cover of the Keny Dennis EP, and is probably just a reference to the fact that people forget what that Shaq movie was called and commonly refer to it as "Shazam" because it really doesn't matter what it was called anyway. I could be totally wrong though...

P.P.S. Geti  is the namedropping master!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

NFT's Got You Covered with the Cover of the Year

There was a few good covers to choose from this year but this one definitely stands out as numero uno...

That means number one.

Deafheaven - Punk Rock/Cody (Mogwai cover) (2012)

This intense cover of two songs originally by Mogwai from their album, 'Come On Die Young' comes from Deafheaven's 12'' split with Bosse-de-Nage. While the "Punk Rock" (the intro), and "Cody" are two different tracks on Mogwai's 2006 release, Deafheaven has combined them into one big post black post metal post rock track.

Deafheaven also mix things up with their choice of a spoken word sample for "Punk Rock". While Mogwai's original featured Iggy Pop discussing punk rock no less, Deafheaven's rendition features the words of William Faulkner (talking about fear I'm guessing) followed by some atmospheric black metal piano!

Take a listen:

Be sure to also check out Bosse-de-Nage's side of the split as well.

...and Mogwai's tracks "Punk Rock" and "Cody" if you haven't heard them before:

Both Deafheaven and Bosse-de-Nage are from the "Bay Area" (San Francisco, California). They both play a unique blend of black metal without being from Norway or looking the part. Some like to call that hipster black metal.

I could care less what they wear or where they're from...

The Flenser records
Official site

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

NFT's December mix + bonus mix

Last mix of 2012:


This is my "Sounds of " playlist I make every year that features all the songs that I listened to the most, felt were most memorable, and usually have some sort of story behind them. Lots of the songs have also been featured in these NFT mixes as well:

Happy first day of 2013!