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The Get Up Kids new album out 10 May 2019

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Album release: ‘Problems’ by The Get Up Kids
Release date: 10 May 2019
Label: Big Scary Monsters
More info: Band website

The Get Up Kids today announced their first full-length album in eight years, ‘Problems’ - produced by Grammy Award-winner Peter Katis (Kurt Vile, The National) - will be released May 10th on Big Scary Monsters.

The video for first single ‘Satellite’ is out today; watch it now here and stream the track at all DSPs here. ‘Problems’ is now available for pre-order here. The band today also announced two shows at this year’s SXSW:

The Get Up Kids at SXSW:

3/13 - Austin, TX - The Mohawk - Polyvinyl Record Co. / Double Double Whammy / Big Scary Monsters + Friends Showcase (11:45 PM). Event info here.

3/14 - Austin, TX - Scoot Inn - Brooklyn Bowl Family Reunion (11:00 PM). Event info here.

‘Satellite’ opens on a stark arrangement of acoustic guitar and stripped-bare vocals, then bursts into brightly crashing rhythms and lyrics revealing the time-bending quality of The Get Up Kids’ songwriting. “I started writing ‘Satellite’ about my son who’s 14 and a total introvert - not antisocial, he just genuinely likes to keep to himself,” says guitarist/vocalist Matt Pryor. “But then somewhere down the line I started singing about myself - about how even when you’re playing a show to a room full of people, I can still feel anxious and isolated.” Director Kerstin Ebert explains, “The feeling of being isolated in a big city can be depressing. But instead of making this a sad story, I added a cardboard man named Hank to the storyline -- a guy who lives like a normal human being amongst 8 million other people in New York City. Even though Hank's adventurous ambitions as well as his facial expressions are very limited, he is the heart of the story and the biggest dreamer of all.”

‘Problems’ examines everything from life-changing loss to loneliness to the inevitable anxiety of existing in 2019. But by sustaining the essence of their sound - anthemic choruses with sing-along-ready melodies -The Get Up Kids highlight those troubles as a shared experience, giving way to an unbreakable solidarity. And at the heart of Problems is an invaluable element the band’s embodied since their 1997 debut Four Minute Mile: a penetrating lyricism that’s both acutely introspective and indelibly resonant.

The follow-up to 2018’s acclaimed EP, Kicker, Problems came to life in Bridgeport, Connecticut, with the band - Matt Pryor, Jim Suptic (guitars/vocals), Rob Pope (bass), Ryan Pope (drums), and James Dewees (keys) - holing up together for a three-week span. Working with Katis, The Get Up Kids took a characteristically riff-driven yet decidedly pop-minded approach to song structure, while also allowing themselves a new sense of creative freedom.

Through the years, The Get Up Kids have purposely pushed themselves toward previously unexplored songwriting material. “I’m 41 now, I could never write a song like when I was 19 - all those ‘I miss my girlfriend’ kind of songs” Suptic says. “It’s always important to us to write about wherever we are right now.” As shown on Problems, the resulting output both preserves the beloved spirit of The Get Up Kids and creates an entirely new context for their music. “A big part of the reason why we started writing new songs in the first place is that we have things we want to say about this moment in time,” says Pryor. “We’re still so connected to our past and where this all came from - it’s definitely a celebration of the fact that we still get to do this.”

The Get Up Kids play Slam Dunk North on 25th May and Slam Dunk South on 26th May

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Big Scary Monsters new compilation out now

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Album release: 'Let's Just Do It And Be Legends' by Big Scary Monsters
More info: Label website

Today, Big Scary Monsters announce and celebrate their 250th release with their new compilation 'Let's Just Do It And Be Legends'.

Featuring new album tracks from American Football, Martha, Delta Sleep, Pedro The Lion and more, alongside vinyl exclusives from Cursive, Kevin Devine, We Were Promised Jetpacks and Jamie Lenman, the 12" picture disc is available now, for whatever price you'd like to pay. There's no minimum.

Commemorating years of critically acclaimed releases, the exclusive tracks on the record include Kevin Devine's 'Outstretched & Never Ending', which is taken from his digital only split with Worriers earlier this year; Jamie Lenman's cover of 'Good Riddance' by Green Day, which was on a Kerrang covermount several years ago; A new exclusive taken from We Were Promised Jetpack's recent album recording sessions, and an outtake from Cursive's new 'Vitriola', which was previously only available via a flexi disc which came free with New Noise magazine in the US. Additionally, the Martha and American Football tracks are both new singles, which are included in the compilation ahead of their respective album's that will come out in March.

Speaking about the release, Kevin Douch (label founder) says, "We think our roster is the best in the world and, as such, it deserves shouting about, SO WE MADE A LOVELY COMPILATION FOR YOU ALL.

We're immensely proud of the extremely talented artists' we're lucky enough to work with and only wish we could've squeezed more of them onto this record. It's release marks the beginning of a very busy period for BSM, with loads of brilliant new releases, showcases at SXSW, The Great Escape and Truck festivals, in addition to the return of our own multi-venue East London event, Big Day Out, on 28th September. Running a record label is never straight-forward and nor should it be (the fact that this release's catalogue number is accidentally BSM250 says it all) but we absolutely love what we do and hope this pay what you want LP helps introduce lots of people to their new favourite band."

'Let's Just Do This And Be Legends' is available, alongside hundreds of other records and merch items, via the labels new website.

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LAGS new album out 29 March 2019

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Album release: 'SOON' by LAGS
Release date: 29 March 2019
Label: Casu Marzu Records (UK/US)
More info: Band website

Today, Italian post-hardcore band LAGS have announced their return with their new single 'Knives and Wounds'. The track was premiered via Consequence of Sound, who called it "an anthemic track with a sound reminiscent of bands like Hot Water Music, BoySetsFire, and Sparta, as singer Antonio Canestri delivers the lyrics with a powerful rasp."

Hear/share new single 'Knives and Wounds' here.

Speaking about the 'Knives and Wounds', frontman Antonio Canestri says, "‘Knives and wounds’ is the opening track of our new album and is the first song we wrote for the new album. It’s a song written in collaboration with our former singer (Luca de Santis aka SUVARI) and addresses two very important themes in the record: a disease and the search for a cure; the difficulty of being sabotaged by our own body, the failure in breaking down the "walls" in our mind, that most of the time we build as a form of self-defense from others and also from ourselves. The video is based on the concepts expressed in the lyrics and it was written by the director Stefano Pedretti: “I am my own fears, that’s what I’ve become.”"

The new track is taken from their forthcoming sophomore album 'SOON', which is due out 29th March 2019 via the newly-formed UK/US Casu Marzu Records, as well as the lauded Italian label's To Lose La Track (Crash of Rhinos, Delta Sleep, Tiger! Shit! Tiger! Tiger!, DAGS etc.) and Fuzzy Cluster Records.

The new album is available to pre-order here.

More than three years have passed since Rome’s post-hardcore quartet LAGS released their debut album ‘Pilot’; a cult favourite across the Italian scene, but a well-kept secret to most. Since releasing their debut on Italian label To Lose La Track (home to likes of: Crash Of Rhinos, Delta Sleep, Tiger! Shit! Tiger! Tiger!), LAGS have played over 80 shows throughout the peninsula with the likes of Beach Slang, Delta Sleep, Screeching Weasel and Raein, as well as performing at a number of national and international festivals, winning over new fans with each set. Now, March 2019 will finally see the release of their highly anticipated follow up album ‘SOON’.

Punchier and more proactive, the new album distils the sound of 2015’s ‘Pilot’ LP, coupled with a production that is consciously raw and provocative. ‘SOON’ is the sound of LAGS at their intoxicating best, mirroring the restless energy of their live shows alongside moments of measured temperance that balances the whole thing on a razors-edge.

Architects of intense contrast the band’s powerful instrumentation regularly flirts with the fragility and weight of the emotionally driven lyrics, flitting between huge anthem-to-be, shout along vocals, intricate guitars and decisive drum work. From the immediate and incendiary opener ‘Knives and Wounds’, to the hook heavy vocals of ‘Echoes’, right through to the emotive and climactic LP closer ‘I Still Remember’, the new record places its focus squarely on power, melody and understated complexity. With a nod towards classic Dischord, 90s post-hardcore and anthemic 00s indie-punk, whilst calling to mind the likes of ‘After The Eulogy’-era BoySetsFire, At The Drive-In, DeSoto, METZ and Self Defense Family, it's safe to say that long-time fans, and fans anew, will not be disappointed.

Thematically, the new album is about arrivals and departures, losses and conquests, and illnesses and healings. Full of deeply honest lyrics ‘SOON’ is a cathartic and self-realising record with moments of surprising uplift. Speaking about the record, frontman Antonio Canestri says, “Soon is a word inextricably linked to the present. It suggests immediacy, but also anticipation and uncertainty about arriving safe and sound to some place that can be either extremely beautiful or extremely painful.”

Incredibly sentimental and sonically accomplished, the new album sees LAGS hone familiar expressions from their debut into refined, darker aesthetics that give their direct sound renewed vigour. ‘SOON’ is a brazen statement of intent and a chance to prove their true prowess having spent the last few years writing and touring. LAGS are climbing steadly, gunning for soft spots and proving that they should be anything but a well-kept secret.

‘SOON’ will be released on ltd. edition cassette as well as vinyl, CD and across all digital platforms. Following the album’s release, the band will head back out on the road playing dates across Italy as well as heading overseas to play their first UK dates.

“Post-hardcore gets a fresh breath of life” – Stereogum

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Active Bird Community tour dates January 2019

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Tour announcement: Active Bird Community
Tour dates: January 2019
Label: Barsuk Records
More info: Band website

Following the release of their new album 'Amends', Active Bird Community have announced a short run of UK tour dates with Slothrust for January 2019.

The band will be playing the following dates:

22nd Jan - Stereo - Glasgow

23rd Jan - The Deaf Institute, Manchester

24th Jan - Boston Music Room, London

25th Jan - The Hope & Ruin, Brighton

26th Jan - The Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham

Recently signed to Barsuk (Death Cab For Cutie, Charly Bliss, Rilo Kiley and more), the band -- who have been playing together since middle school -- have previously toured with the likes of Cymbals Eat Guitars, We Were Promised Jetpacks and more, and have already seen significant support from the likes of Billboard, Stereogum, Consequence of Sound, Audiotree and more for their distinct brand of indie-rock. There’s lyrical depth to their output and their music is brutally honest, but not without being completely infectious.

Hear recent singles here:

'Unwind With Me'

'Baby It's You'

'Sweaty Lake'

“In the simplest of terms, Amends is a record about forgiveness,” says Tom D’Agustino, one of the singers and primary songwriters of the Brooklyn-based band Active Bird Community. “Forgiving your parents for splitting up, forgiving your friends for not always understanding you, learning to forgive yourself.” The band’s forthcoming album, Amends, dwells in the intricacies of relationships — broken bonds between friends, family, and lovers — and hoping to heal.

In Hastings-on-Hudson, a small town just north of New York City, the band’s founding members — D’Agustino, co-songwriter/lead guitarist Andrew Wolfson, and bassist Zach Slater — were three teenagers without direction. Long summers were spent learning how to write and perform songs, and how to communicate complex emotions, which at such a young age brought the friends closer and closer together. “I think starting the band was almost a symbol of our friendship,” says D’Agustino. “I think we wanted to build something together.” Active Bird Community became an exciting new world for them to explore, a home to run away to whenever life got too confusing, too difficult to navigate. They didn’t expect the band to last through high school, so when it did, they had to choose: separate and head off to different colleges, or stay together and see where the band could go. They chose both, and with the addition of Quinn McGovern on drums, Active Bird Community’s lineup was finalised.

In the years since, as its members made their way through young adulthood and graduated college, the band has self-released three albums: the scrappy, lo-fi Magnum Opus, the tender garage-rock assemblage I’ve Been Going Swimming (2015), and their most recent release, the anthemic Stick Around (2017). They’ve cultivated a dynamic live show that’s fortified by a collective chemistry only possible from years of friendship. Active Bird Community is finely-tuned and musically tight — their earnestness and kinetic enthusiasm is wholly contagious, and still evident despite their advanced age of…24. And now, they’ve returned with Amends — their Barsuk Records debut and perhaps their most deeply felt album to date.

Amends is a contemplation on loss and forgiveness that volleys between the perspectives of D’Agustino and Wolfson. “We’ve both written for the records before,” Wolfson says. “But on Stick Around it felt like Tom’s voice was the protagonist and mine was the narrator.” D’Agustino’s anxious search for maturity was countered by Wolfson’s hesitation to stop and absorb the world around them. A similar step-ball-change of action and commentary drives Amends forward, only this time specific memories are unpacked, and the past is explored and confronted rather than avoided.

Take the title track — a driving, bittersweet song that feels sonically indebted to bands like Built to Spill, and fraught with the tension of family, loss, and learning to move on without resentment. Later there’s “Unwind With Me,” a breakup song that feels like it’s as much of a condemnation of the singer as a lamentation for failed love. “I’m unraveling everything, I need it slower than before, I need to call somebody more,” D’Agustino sings, refusing to skirt around his own culpability. There’s the McGovern-penned track “Downstairs,” a song about formless anxiety that begins delicately then gradually swells into a wall of guitar. “Silver Screen,” meanwhile, is a glowing vision of life ascending, how Wolfson imagines the future could be.

And lastly there’s “Lighthouse.” The track caps the record with a final story about D’Agustino’s mother, about familial turmoil, misunderstanding, and eventual absolution — of both oneself and others. “When I was in high school, my mom became obsessed with painting lighthouses. She’d paint them on everything, buy little lighthouse magnets or keychains, there were lighthouses everywhere. I think they gave her safety, some moments of stability in her chaotic life. There were times when my mom would be struck with this mania that would inspire and awe me, while also terrify me,” he says. “Sitting at the table with what felt like a makeshift family was too much to handle, so I checked out. Convinced myself that there was nothing wrong with me, the pain that my mother felt that drove her to incessantly make lighthouses wasn’t my pain. Enough time passes and I realize that pain isn’t crazy, it isn’t the end of the world. I’m old enough now to poke holes in how I was as a teenager, point out some faulty logic, but young enough still to remember where that logic came from, why it had to be formulated at all.”

Amends represents Active Bird Community’s efforts to contend honestly with the pain of their experiences and explore the empowering nature of forgiveness. “If you can’t forgive yourself, that robs you of your responsibility to be a force for good outside of your own immediate universe. When you take the step from blaming and wallowing, there is an opening for you to become a fuller person,” D’Agustino says. “In saying ‘it’s ok’ to your life, there’s so much power there. You can blame other people for how you feel or the choices you make, or you can take some responsibility for your feelings and your actions and try to make a change, and that first step is making amends.”

"Active Bird Community have got the swagger and the daring, but also the intense vulnerability that permeates your life when you’re young and trying to find out exactly where you fit in the world." - The Line Of Best Fit

"The Brooklyn four-piece may sound laid back, but they don’t shy away from really digging into their own vulnerabilities, fears, and frustrations and fleshing these out in their songs" - Stereogum

"a winning missive; smart and accessible, dazzling in its brightest moments and suitably sullen when the light fades. These birds are ones to watch…" - Upset

"one minute The Crocketts’ chaotic delivery, the next Fountains of Wayne’s measured rock with the poppier bits of Jimmy Eat World." - Loud & Quiet

"...a scrappy punk slugfest rife with immediate post-college struggles." - Billboard

“Off piste and defiantly surreal” before going on to say, “it somehow hangs together remarkably well, like a smash hit from an alternative dimension.” - CLASH

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Touché Amoré new album out 30 November 2018

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Album release: ‘10 Years / 1000 Shows at The Regent Theater’ by Touché Amoré
Release date: 30 November 2018
Label: Epitaph
More info: Band website

On February 16th, Touché Amoré played their 1000th show at The Regent Theater in the band’s hometown of Los Angeles to celebrate their 10-year anniversary as a band. The recording of the sold out show will be released as a live album entitled ‘10 Years / 1000 Shows at The Regent Theater’ on November 30th via Epitaph.

Watch the live video of “Flowers and You” from the 1000th show Touche Amore here.

‘10 Years / 1000 Shows at The Regent Theater’ features 27 live recorded tracks that were mixed by Kurt Ballou at GodCity Studio in Salem, MA.

In late 2016 Touché Amoré released their fourth studio album, ‘Stage Four’. The album ‘Stage Four’ graced many Best of 2016 lists including A.V. Club’s 20 Best Albums of 2016 list, Stereogum’s 50 Best Albums Of 2016 list, one of the year’s best L.A. albums by L.A. Weekly, and one of the 20 best emo/punk albums of 2016 by Brooklyn Vegan. In addition, Apple Music ranked the Stage Four single ‘Palm Dreams’ among the Best Rock Tracks and Best Hard Rock Songs of 2016.

Praise for last album ‘Stage Four’

“This thing is close to flawless” – Brooklyn Vegan

“A harrowing and unrelenting record, Stage Four is a glowing testament to the post-hardcore band’s melodicism, honesty and unconditional empathy” – Pitchfork – 8.1

“A songwriting maturity now marked by complex and soaring melodies.” – NPR

“Bigger, louder and grander.” – Stereogum - Album Of The Week

“An essential release.” – Metal Hammer

**** - DIY, **** - Upset, 8/10 – Rock Sound, KKKK – Kerrang!, **** - Dork, **** - Total Guitar

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Touché Amoré announce UK dates for July

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Tour announcement: Touché Amoré
Tour dates: July 2018
More info: Band website

 Los Angeles post hardcore band Touché Amoré announce new UK headline shows ahead of their appearance at 2000 Trees in July. Support on these dates comes from Brighton's Gender Roles:

  • July 10 – Portsmouth, UK @ Wedgewood Rooms
  • July 11 – London, UK @ The Dome
  • July 12 - Nottingham, UK @ Rescue Rooms
  • July 13 - Cave Stage, Cheltenham, UK @ 2000 Trees

Formed in Burbank, California, across 2007 and 2008, the band’s urgent sound, with its melodic sonic assault and impassioned vocals, has grown tighter and more refined through a trio of full-length albums and a series of EP’s and releases. Since those early days, lead singer Jeremy Bolm, guitarists Nick Steinhardt and Clayton Stevens, bassist Tyler Kirby, and drummer Elliot Babin have created a trajectory for themselves through hard work and dedication. And with 2016's Stage Four, their fourth and biggest album to date, they cemented their status as one of rock music’s most talented, relatable, and visceral acts.

“I don’t open up to people too much in regular life, but when I’m writing songs, I want to be as open and as honest as possible,” Bolm confesses. Touché albums have always served as an emotional outlet for Bolm. So when the time came to write Stage Four there was no question that it would be about passing of Bolm’s mother in late 2014. Stage Four was recorded in early 2016 in Studio City, CA with producer Brad Wood. Cathartic in delivery, highly sentimental, and sonically triumphant, Stage Four is an emblem of a band both living its dream and marred by loss. And with Stage Four, Touché Amoré unmistakably made the biggest, boldest, and most artistic statement of their career.

Praise for last album 'Stage Four':

“This thing is close to flawless” – Brooklyn Vegan
“A harrowing and unrelenting record, Stage Four is a glowing testament to the post-hardcore band’s melodicism, honesty and unconditional empathy” – Pitchfork – 8.1
“A songwriting maturity now marked by complex and soaring melodies.” – NPR
“Bigger, louder and grander.” – Stereogum - Album Of The Week
“An essential release.” – Metal Hammer
**** - DIY, **** - Upset, 8/10 – Rock Sound, KKKK – Kerrang!, **** - Dork, **** - Total Guitar

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Ratboys album due 30 June 2017

Album release: 'GN' by Ratboys
Release date: 30 June 2017
Label: Topshelf Records
More info: Band website

Chicago's Ratboys, led by singer/guitarist Julia Steiner and guitarist Dave Sagan, will release its sophomore album entitled GN on June 30th (Topshelf Records). Drawing influence from the down-to-earth sincerity of late-90s Sheryl Crow and the confessional confidence of Kim Deal and Jenny Lewis, the songs on GN (aka ‘goodnight’) “largely detail experiences of saying goodbye, finding your way home, and then figuring out what the hell to do once you’re back,” says Steiner. The Fader, who premiered the album's first single, 'Control' says "the song is a perfect example of the special, personal nature of their music." Listen to 'Control' here

GN offers a bevy of tales, laments and triumphs, which recount near-tragedies by the train tracks, crippling episodes of loneliness, remembrances of a deceased family pet with freezer burn, and on and on. The songs shift and breathe as worlds all their own, tied together by the group’s self-proclaimed ‘post-country’ sound, which combines moments of distortion and a DIY aesthetic with a devotion to simple songwriting and ties to the Americana sounds of years past. 

The songs chosen to close both sides of the record – the slow-burning "Crying About the Planets’" and quizzical "Peter the Wild Boy" - unpack the respective journeys of two real people who were quite literally lost and found. ""Crying" tells the survival story of Antarctic explorer Douglas Mawson from a first-person perspective, and "Peter" reflects on the life of a feral child in Germany who was eventually adopted by the King of England," according to Steiner. 

Certain personal stories - the tour adventures recapped in "GM," the struggle to learn to show affection as divulged in "Molly" - find Ratboys just as eagerly exploring subject matter that comes from within, and then illustrating the highs and lows with soaring hooks and plaintive ones. Even in the moments that lie somewhere between bliss and misery, a tension persists between Steiner’s sweet vocal delivery and Sagan’s physical, almost-off-the-hinges guitar playing that lends each song a deeper sense of colour and movement. 
 

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Minus The Bear album 'Voids' due 3 March 2017

Album release: 'Voids' by Minus The Bear
Release date: 3 March 2017
Label: Suicide Squeeze Records
More info: Band website

Over the course of their 15-year career, Minus the Bear have carved out their own unique musical world. This isn’t to say they’re impervious to outside influence. They’ve borrowed components from a wide swath of genres—the brainy clangor of New York’s proto-punk scene, the cerebral buzz of IDM, the poptimist evaluation of hip-hop and R&B, and the grandiose visions of prog rock—but always managed to defy classification. Throughout the first decade of their existence, every new album offered a new musical approach, as seen in the idiosyncratic fretboard gymnastics of Highly Refined Pirates, the glitchy loops of Menos el Oso, or the modernized Fripp-inspired wizardry of Planet of Ice. By the time the band entered our current decade, their knack for reinvention yielded to an emphasis on refinement. Albums like OMNI and Infinity Overhead searched for a middle ground where their myriad of stylistic approaches could all work within the context of a single record. 

On their sixth album 'Voids', Minus the Bear started with a blank slate, and inadvertently found themselves applying the same starting-from-scratch strategies that fueled their initial creative process. “There was a lot of change and uncertainty,” says guitarist David Knudson. “I think the general vibe of emptiness, replacement, lacking, and longing to fill in the gaps was very present in everyones’ minds.” Change was everywhere. Keyboardist/vocalist Alex Rose took on a more prominent role in composition and handled lead vocal duties on songs like 'Call the Cops', 'Tame Beasts', and Robotic Heart', drummer Kiefer Matthias joined the fold, producer Sam Bell lent a fresh set of ears in the studio, and the band returned to their original label home at Suicide Squeeze Records. Minus the Bear were no longer swept along by the momentum that had driven them for the last fifteen years. Instead, they reached a point where they could recalibrate and redefine who they were as a musical entity. The resulting album VOIDS retains many of the band’s signature qualities—the hedonistic tales of nighttime escapism and candid vignettes of adulthood, the savvy up-tempo beats, the layered and nuanced instrumentation—while simultaneously reminding us of the musical wanderlust that initially put them on the map. 

Album opener 'Last Kiss' immediately establishes the band’s renewed fervor. An appropriately dizzying guitar line plunges into a propulsive groove before the chorus unfolds into a multi-tiered pop chorus. From there the album flows into 'Give & Take', a tightly wound exercise in syncopation that recalls the celebratory pulse of early Bear classics like 'Fine + 2 Pts' while exploring new textures and timbres. 'Invisible' is arguably the catchiest song of the band’s career, with Jake Snider’s vocal melodies and Knudson’s imaginative guitar work battling for the strongest hooks. 'What About the Boat?' reminds us of the 'math-rock' tag that followed the band in their early years, with understated instrumentation disguising an odd-time beat. 'Erase', recalls the merging of forlorn indie pop and electronica that the band dabbled with on their early EPs, but demonstrates the Bear’s ongoing melodic sophistication and tonal exploration. By the time the band reaches album closer 'Lighthouse', they’ve traversed so much sonic territory that the only appropriate tactic left at their disposal is a climactic crescendo, driven at its peak by Cory Murchy’s thunderous bass. Not since Planet of Ice’s 'Lotus' has the Bear achieved such an epic finale. All in all, it’s an album that reminds us of everything that made us fall in love with Minus the Bear in the first place, and a big part of that appeal is the sense that the band is heading into uncharted territories. 

Suicide Squeeze Records is proud to release 'Voids' to the world on March 3, 2017 on CD, LP, and cassette. Nick Steinhardt designed the artwork and layout for all formats. The first pressing of the album is available on 5,000 copies of splatter coloured vinyl and 5,000 copies of 180 gram black vinyl. The LP jacket features PMS inks, a die-cut cover with a printed inner sleeve and contains a download code. The cassette version is limited to 500 copies and includes a download code as well.  

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Field Mouse new album 'Episodic' due 5 August 2016

Album release: 'Episodic' by Field Mouse
Release date: 5 August 2016
Label: Topshelf Records
More info: Band website

If 2014's 'Hold Still Life' was the fruition of Field Mouse's evolution from a fiery two-piece in to a fully-fledged band, then new album 'Episodic' is the letting go; the abandonment of past persuasions for something altogether more untamed. Where the band's initial work was self-recorded, by founding members Rachel Browne and Andrew Futral, the new record signifies the first time that the quintet has composed an album together from start-to-finish - and the result is a record that feels altogether more defined.

Recorded in Philadelphia with Hop Along's Joe Reinhart, and written through a twelve month period which delivered sudden family illness and a deteriorating relationship, Episodic is fashioned from ten feverish bouts of guitar-pop; led by Browne's fearsome and fearless vocal and informed by an instrumental backing that underpins the entire record with a vibrant concoction of guitar, drums and keys.

Showcasing the band's ability to switch between mood and tone, the record shifts from the spiky immediacy of tracks such as Accessory and A Widow With A Terrible Secret, to the more spacious moments, such as monumental centre-piece Beacon, without ever losing sight of the scuzzy, melodic pop songs that remain Field Mouse's distinct forte.  

Featuring guest turns from Sadie Dupuis (Speedy Ortiz), Allison Crutchfield (Swearin'/Waxahatchee) and Joseph D'Agostino (Cymbals Eat Guitars),

'Episodic' is the sound of a fully-realized band truly coming in to their own; honest, direct and immensely powerful.

Field Mouse is Rachel Browne (vocals/guitar), Andrew Futral (guitar), Saysha Heinzman (bass), Tim McCoy (drums), Zoë Browne (synth/rhodes/vocals).

Press reaction to date

"With a vintage sound boasting raw post-punk, finely juxtaposed with Rachel Browne's delicate vocals, Field Mouse manage assured nods at the likes of The Cure and Elastica" - NME

"Field Mouse make a tougher and shoegazier racket than the fey-pop of their similarly-named forebears. They also, on Two Ships, nod to ‘90s indie-dance, which will appeal to those who dream of Sarah Cracknell of St Etienne cooing wistfully with Republic-era New Order." –The Guardian

"[Field Mouse] shimmer like Velocity Girl used to do back in the early ’90s..." - Stereogum

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The Fall Of Troy new album released and tour dates announced

Album release: 'OK' by The Fall Of Troy
Release date: 20 April 2016 download, 15 July 2016 vinyl
Label: Big Scary Monsters
More info: Band website

After two years of teasers, today (4/20), The Fall Of Troy have surprise released ‘OK’, their fifth studio release and their first album in seven years. For their loyal fan base that have stuck by them through four albums, a hiatus in 2010 and the following sporadic reformation in 2013, TFOT have decided to release the album to their fans as a pay-what-you-want download. The band will also later release a vinyl version of the album via Big Scary Monsters (their first release with the label).

In a statement made by the band, they say “This album represents hope; that things can be different, that the past doesn't have to always weigh on the present. We give this album to you now for free, because we know that you deserve it. Rather than try to squeeze every penny from people who have given us opportunities beyond our wildest dreams, we wanted to give you a gift, for all the gifts you've given us over the years.”

Known for their technical and unique guitar style, idiosyncratic song structures and frenetic and often surreal vocal work, ‘OK’ is an album that will appeal to veteran fans and newcomers alike. As an entire body of work the album exhibits the best of Thomas Eckharts infectious hook-laden guitar work that revisits the ‘Doppelgänger’-era, whilst merging the melodic complexities found on ‘Manipulator’ and later albums.

‘OK’ is a return to form for The Fall of Troy, it’s clear that the bands reunion for time apart and work in other projects Chiodos and Just Like Vinyl has invigorated and inspired the band to come back with the bands most original and accomplishedalbum to date. TFOT have taken the best of their previous work and amalgamated it in a work of intense focus and deliberate and resolute determination and power.

Acclaimed for their energetic live shows and their relentless thirst for touring, TFOT have previously toured with the likes of Deftones, Coheed and Cambria, The Dear Hunter, And So I Watch You From Afar and Foxy Shazam. Today the band also simultaneously announced that they will be going out on a colossal 63 date tour, starting in May and ending in September, the tour will cover Australia, USA, UK, EU and Russia. The tour will see them supported by the likes of Closure in Moscow, Meniscus, Osaka Punch, ’68, Illustrations and Tiny Moving Parts.

The band describe ‘OK’ as a “gift” to their fans and that’s what ‘OK’ is, whether you are a ‘Doppelgänger’ fan, a ‘Phantom on the Horizon’ fan or a dedicated fan of all of their material so far, every track on this album has convergent moments that explore the creative expression found across all of their previous work. This is one for the fans, and that is not because it’s free.

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Bad Breeding release new single ‘Remembering’

Single release: 'Remembering' by Bad Breeding
Release date: Out now
More info: Band website

Today, Stevenage based punks Bad Breeding have premiered their new single 'Remembering' with NME. Speaking about the single, NME said: "...they’re a barrage of pent-up frustration, often spilling off the stage and into the audience"

Frontman Christopher Dodd describes the concept behind the new single, saying: "We watched Amy Berg’s documentary Deliver Us from Evil a while back and I’d also been moved by this investigative piece called Crime and Punishment by Zhao Liang. It got us thinking about the manipulation and misuse of institutional power, but also about the endurance of humanity that often shines through when people are damaged by the rapacity of those in positions of supposed authority.

In some ways it's an examination of impropriety from religious, financial and political cliques, as well as some of our own personal struggles, which we wanted to offset against a defiant thud. It was definitely a bleak thing to write, although there's plenty of fortitude in the song too."

The new single comes ahead of the bands forthcoming UK tour dates (below), which are taking place from the end of April throughout May. It also follows on from the recent release of the bands 'Corrupting Fist' video, which was premiered with CRACK Magazine last week.

Press reaction to date

"But the interesting thing about Bad Breeding is that, while you’re listening to them, they dissolve all notions of now and then and make you feel as though you’re hearing this noise for the first time."- the Guardian (New Band of the Week #59)

"...the Stevenage noisemongers have begun to cement themselves as one of the most exhilarating live bands in the country."- the Quietus

"...here to shake things up in a burst of volatile fury."– NME

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Merrick’s Tusk new EP ‘regroup and reform’ due 1 April 2016

EP release: ‘regroup and reform’ by Merrick’s Tusk
Release date: 1 April 2016
Label: Self released in conjunction with Buttonpusher DIY
More info: Band website

Hailing from Nottingham and Derby melodic rock quartet Merrick’s Tusk (named after the Elephant Man, Joseph Merrick) are band that have drawn a route through the familiar sonic territory of emo-rock with signposts to bands such as The Appleseed Cast, American Football and Jimmy Eat World to draw you in but with more than enough originality in their post-hardcore sensibilities to keep you there. The band’s second release, a 6-track EP titled ‘regroup and reform’ which is founded on the life experiences of frontman John Jeacock, features cameos from BAFTA-winning composer Nicholas Hooper (Harry Potter soundtrack composer) and once label-mates Bear Makes Ninja, Blind Wives and Some Skeletons, the follow-up EP delivers a more expansive and ambitious sound.

Architects of intense contrast the band’s diverse and precise instrumentation regularly flirts with the fragility and weight of the emotionally driven heart-on-sleeve lyrics, flittering between huge anthem-to-be, shout along gang vocals, delicate and intricate guitars and decisive drum work. Tracks such as opener ‘25’, throw you back to Casually Dressed-era Funeral For A Friend-esque resonance, making you feel like you are rediscovering a long lost favourite track, whilst littered with memorable lyrics and stadium-ready melodies that are likely to make the track a new favourite for first time listeners. Tracks such as ‘Solitude’ and ‘Kepler’ can make you feel like you are listening to a completely different record delving into the niche and nostalgic world of 90’s emo but instilled with the same unique vocal delivery, suspense-filled transfiguring uplift and release. It is this wide spread set of divergent dynamics that makes Merrick’s Tusk’s new EP so inimitable despite the familiarity that resonates from the bands multifarious influences.

‘Sonder’, Merrick’s Tusk’s debut EP, was released on Bad News Records to critical acclaim in June 2014 and has led to the band performing with artists such as Jonah Matranga (including sharing a stage to perform the Far classic ‘Bury White’), Cleft, Tellison, More Than Conquerors, We Came From Wolves, 100 Onces, Polymath, Wot Gorilla? and more.

‘regroup and reform’ will be self-released in conjunction with the estimable Buttonpusher DIY on 1st April and will be see the band hit the road again touring across the UK, Europe and various festivals in 2016. Speaking on what comes next for the band John (Singer/Guitarist) says, “We want to get out and play as many shows and festivals in Europe as possible this year, meeting lots of lovely people. Then we plan to push our sound as far as we can, continuing our work on a debut album for 2017.”

Merrick’s Tusk are evolving musically and with every sonic state they encounter the band are finding new ways to push the boundaries and instil originality. This is an EP full of tracks that are begging to be your timeless rock anthems of the decade, and we think you should let them.

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Telethon album 'Citrosis' due 1 April 2016

Album release: 'Citrosis' by Telethon
Release date: 1 April 2016
More info: Band website

Sometimes the best results are born in the heat of the moment, and Telethon’s latest full-length effort ‘Citrosis’, rehearsed once the night before they took it to the studio, is proof. Formed in the winter of 2014 in Wisconsin, the power-pop meets punk-rock quintet have created a diverse record, which calls on Modern Baseball’s emotion and honesty, Thin Lizzy’s melodic guitar harmonies and Weezer’s playfulness. 

Recorded in just over five days in September 2015 by Jack Shirley (Deafheaven, Punch, Funeral Diner, Big Kids, Joyce Manor, Laura Stevenson and more), ‘Citrosis’ is an adrenaline-fuelled relentless 32 minutes of near-gapless playback, blending an enticing mix of emotive lyrics, garage-rock-infused riffs and classic rock harmonies over the course of 12 tracks. ‘Citrosis’ is a loose narrative of the low-stakes anxiety that prods us throughout our waking lives, touching on topics usually only discovered post ‘coming of age’ along with the realisation that things are only as hard as you make them for yourself. 

The lead track ‘Mineral King’ is a sun-kissed road-trip of angular rock n roll riffs and sugar coated piano and organ lines, infusing laid back yet self-realising lyrics that comment on everyday social constructs with contrasting moments of uplift. Tracks such as ‘Fallout’ and ‘A Funny Thing Happened To Me Today’ juxtapose incredibly honest lyrics and seemingly tongue-in-cheek sarcasm with upbeat instrumentation: 70’s era Hammond organ sections, punk-rock bass sections and conversely surf-rock driven guitars take the narrative out of its comfort zone and urges it to have fun. Telethon’s influences are greatly varied across the record, to the point that tracing the origin of the band’s overall sound is futile. What is clear is that this is the sound of a group of long-term friends writing honest songs about modern living and irreverently having a good time doing it.

On writing the new material Kevin Tully (Vocals/Guitar) said “These songs are the products of very caffeinated, isolated, stream-of-consciousness writing sessions. I recorded them as rough demos on my phone, then sent them out to the rest of the guys to fester and morph into what you hear on the record. Jack Shirley became the final puzzle piece by hearing out all of our scatterbrained big ideas and turning each of them into something grounded and tangible.”

‘Citrosis’ is an album that touches upon post-millennial topics explored with instrumentation from not only across the last three decades but over a huge range of styles and sub-genres. Despite being recorded with haste, the building blocks couldn’t have been more thoughtfully devised. This album, much like life, is a fast one-way play-through, tackling a whole range of emotions. If you want our advice, the best way to experience this is to turn it up as loud as it will go, embrace it and enjoy it.

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Room Full Of Strangers new album ‘Bad Vacation’ released 30 Oct

Album release: ‘Bad Vacation’  by Room Full Of Strangers
Release date: 30 October 2015
Label: Godless America Records / True Trash
More info: Band website

For US whatever-punks Room Full Of Strangers, in 2015, it’s a Love / Hate situation. It would be easy for a band of working class guys, with roots in America’s Rust Belt, struggling to make ends meet, to embrace hate, lash out and become big drinking, fist-fighting, rock n roll clichés. In fact, for a period of time, that’s exactly what happened. The sons of immigrants and factory workers, Room Full Of Strangers haven’t always managed to plough the path of controlled chaos that they currently inhabit – for a while it was just chaos. It wasn’t so long ago that their shows were sparking mass brawls and, in one terrifying instance, witnessed the tragic overdose of a member on stage… 

Led by front man Mick Mcluan, it was time to embrace their struggle, and the difficulties of being in a penniless band, in a very different way. They looked to other Rust Belt bands like The Stooges, Dead Boys, DEVO, Pere Ubu and Lux Interior, and instead adopted a new outlook – one they’d need to stick to, if they were to come out of this alive and well. The band got pro-active. Their own self-promoted (huge) warehouse parties drew the attention of proper venues and producers. The offers were coming thick and fast, and they now boast a live show so renowned that they’re invited invited to play CMJ every year and fests such as SXSW, CBGB Fest and have shared stages with acts as varied as Joanna Gruesome, Fan Modine (members of Neutral Milk Hotel), Jacuzzi Boys, Capsula (Bilbao Spain), The Misfits and – GG Allin’s band - The Murder Junkies. 

Naturally it wasn’t long before acclaimed knob-twiddler and Godfather of the NYC underground art punk scene, Mark Kramer, known as Kramer (Jacuzzi Boys, Half Japanese, Sonic Youth, Daniel Johnston, Butthole Surfers) discovered the band and put them in the studio. The resulting sessions became new album ‘Bad Vacation’ – an album packed with collective experience, ferocity, punk spirit, all set to an us-against-the-world party soundtrack. This is a band who is influenced by its own collective personalities and life experience, and a band that ardently refuses to write music that is derivative of the sound du jour. 

'Bad Vacation is about real people, places and things, and reflects on our life story as band. It’s kind of like being the main character in the movie Shawshank Redemption. At first you’re screwed, then screwed a little less and ultimately, if you're patient and persistent, you get to crawl through a sewer pipe of crap to your freedom.' ~ Mick McIuan - Room Full of Strangers

Designed to carry you signed, sealed, delivered, in a sweaty heap on the floor, ‘Bad Vacation’ serves as a reminder that bad trips happen, but you can always come out the other side. 

Room Full Of Strangers will tour Europe in 2015 / 2016

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"Settled" - the new EP from NJ indie rock band Prawn

Prawn.jpg

EP release: "Settled" by Prawn
Release date: 27 November 2014
Label: Topshelf Records
More information: on band's Facebook page

On 27th November 2014, NJ indie rock outfit Prawn will digitally release a new EP titled 'Settled', featuring two b-sides from their 'Kingfisher' recording session. Additionally, the EP will be available on vinyl, as a limited edition 7" for Record Store Day on Black Friday, 27th November 2014.

The two tracks ("Settled" and ""Built For") were originally slated to appear on the 'Kingfisher' LP, so Topshelf Records will also digitally release a deluxe version of the LP on 25th November 2014, which includes both songs in the original sequence that the band intended.

Guitarist/vocalist Tony Clark explains, "Last year we set out to write a full length record, which eventually became Kingfisher. We wrote and recorded a total of 12 songs, of which only 10 made the final cut. We had to cut two songs and shuffle the order to make it onto a 12" vinyl. The two songs we left off our personally some of our favorites and we thought they deserved a proper release. The good folks at Topshelf agreed and hence the Settled 7".

Last seen on the road as part of the first ever Topshelf Records Tour, with label mates A Great Big Pile of Leaves, Diamond Youth and Field Mouse, Prawn will kick off their UK tour with Gnarwolves on November 10th.

Previous praise

Previous praise for Prawn:

  • "I still wish all albums sounded like this..." - Big Cheese (9/10)
  • "Yep, it’s awesome" - Rock Sound (8/10)
  • "The production is superb, the content is crisp, and the record is focused in a way that feels as sharp as a switchblade." - Property Of Zack
  • "So much more than 'just another emo album’" - Punktastic
  • "This thing just rips" - Absolute Punk

UK tour dates

  • 30th November 2014 – CARDIFF, UK – Clwb Ifor Bach
  • 1st December 2014 – EXETER, UK – Cavern
  • 2nd December 2014 – BRISTOL, UK – Fleece
  • 3rd December 2014 – BIRMINGHAM, UK – Talk
  • 4th December 2014 – KINGSTON, UK – College
  • 5th December 2014 – LONDON, UK – Underworld*
  • 6th December 2014 – MILTON KEYNES, UK – Crauford Arms*
  • 7th December 2014 – NOTTINGHAM, UK – Nottingham Rescue Rooms*
  • 8th December 2014 – GLASGOW, UK – Audio*
  • 9th December 2014 – LEEDS, UK – Brudenell Social Club*
  • 10th December 2014 – MANCHESTER, UK – Soundcontrol*
  • 11th December 2014 – NORWICH, UK – Epic Studios*
  • 12th December 2014 – BRIGHTON, UK – The Haunt*

 

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The City on Film - solo project from Braid's Bob Nanna

The City on Film

Album release: "La Vella" by The City On Film (Bob Nanna)
Release date: 16 January 2015
Label: Topshelf
More information: on Topshelf website

Topshelf Records and Braid's Bob Nanna are proud to announce the new album from The City On Film, Nanna’s solo side project, titled "La Vella". Set for a 16 January 2015 release date, La Vella was produced by Nanna and Jeff Dean at Million Yen in Chicago, IL, and follows the release of Braid’s critically acclaimed return, No Coast, that was released in July of 2014. The album’s first track, “You Wild Thing (An Illuminous Life),” can now be streamed via Brooklyn Vegan HERE and the album can be pre-ordered through the Topshelf Records website HERE.

In January 2014, Bob Nanna was laid off from what he described as the “perfect day job.” Undeterred, he began to create a new perfect day job, playing music (with seminal emo band, Braid, a young frenetic upstart, Lifted Bells, and the downtempo electronic band with his wife named Jack & Ace). He also focused attention on his custom songwriting website, Downwrite.com, which fueled the inspiration for this newest album from his solo project The City On Film, entitled La Vella.

On Downwrite, Nanna sourced stories from nine fans and turned them into tracks on this new album, the second full-length solo record after 2007’s In Formal Introduction. Lead off track “You Wild Thing (An Illuminous Life)” tells of a chance meeting and a bonding over The Pogues, Ted Leo, and gym shoes. “Take The Ghosts” addresses personal conflict after a tragedy while “Stray” takes on wanderlust in the Big Apple. Nanna used a request for a soundtrack to a charity bike trek to create “Kill It!,” a song about a close-to-home battle with lymphoma. The album concludes with “Andorra La Vella,” the most personal song on the record, written independently of Downwrite, recalling a big red dictionary in the Nanna household, highlighting countries and capitals, and a few poignant songs he cannot listen to anymore.

The City on Film, as solo vehicle, debuted in 1999 during a Braid hiatus and has been active, albeit in the background, since. Given the success of his various musical projects and Downwrite, Nanna hopes to keep The City On Film forever alive to tell his stories and the stories of his friends and fans.

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