Heartbreaking Bravery

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Tag: Black Lips

Watch This: Vol. 26

Well, it’s been a while but by the end of today Watch This will be back on track. This is, once again, thanks in no small part to an abundance of great material to have come out over the past week or so. With the influx of material being so strong, this will be the first of two Watch This posts to go live today. Both sections are going to be filled with bands that have never been featured and old favorites. In this installment, the newcomers get featured a little more heavily but there’s still enough room for a genre mainstay or two. All of it’s worth investing some time and, really, the best course of action? Lean into it- and Watch This.

1. Picastro – Mountain Relief (BreakThruRadio)

Kicking off the series this time around is Liz Hysen’s long-running Toronto-based project, Picastro. BreakThruRadio invited her in to film a performance and Hysen delivers an absolutely haunting rendition of “Mountain Relief”. There’s a short interview that follows the performance but the real takeaway from this is just how arresting “Mountain Relief” is. It’s on Picastro’s most recent record, You, which is more than worth anyone’s time.

2. Constant Lovers – 14 Missed Calls (KEXP)

It’s been a while since there’s been a KEXP session quite as lively as the insane one Constant Lovers just turned in. Among their set’s most intense moments was this fiery as hell take on “14 Missed Calls”. All intense guitar jabs and one of the fiercest vocal takes imaginable, “14 Missed Calls” proved to be one of the best parts of the last week in music. It’s a must-watch.

3. Menace Beach – Fortune Teller (3VOOR12)

One of the more intriguing acts of the last few years, Menace Beach have yet to release a record. This hasn’t stopped them from earning praise and coverage in a variety of major taste-making publications. The Leeds-based group has one hell of a pedigree between their two main members and rotating cast; nearly everyone involved has achieved some level of notoriety with at least one other project. From this video alone, it’s abundantly clear that this band knows what they’re doing. 


4. Black Lips – Smiling (KEXP)

There are some things that just don’t change- one of them is that Black Lips are a great live band. No matter how much the band varies their sound or how strong whatever record their touring behind is, their live shows consistently bring an incredible amount of energy to the table. While not all of that translates over to a taped session (a literal impossibility considering there’s no crowd interaction), it’s still fun enough to earn a spot here.


5. Screaming Females – Baby Jesus (Audiotree)

As is the case with Black Lips, Screaming Females have one of the best live sets in the game. Having torched the basement circuit with a vengeance, the New Brunswick act has seemingly set their sights on world domination. Pity anyone that gets in their way. This will be the first of two videos from their Audiotree session to be featured today because there’s no way they don’t both deserve to be featured. This is a masterclass.


Brain F≠ – Sicks (Stream)

It’s been another one of those days. A day with a cavalcade of new and noteworthy music news descending at an impossible velocity. There was official live performance videos from Cloud Nothings (which came with an accompanying tour announcement), Fever the Ghost, and Those Darlins. Following that, official videos from Metronomy (which has the distinction of being directed by Michel Gondry), OFF!Soak, Tacocat, and Quilt. Additionally, there was new music from Black Lips, The CoathangersCreative Adult, Denney and the JetsEx-Cult, and Woods (which would’ve been the feature today but it’s difficult to shake the feeling that With Light and With Love is going to be picking up a lot of press in the days to come). All adding up to an overload of material before the day even hit its halfway point. In the midst of all that chaos, a song by Brain F≠ (pronounced Brain Flannel, apparently) called “Sicks” managed to stand out.

Brain F≠ sound sort of like Be Your Own PET and OFF! were thrown into a blender while riding an adrenaline high, attempting to beat each other to death. “Sicks” is a manic blast of charged-up punk-leaning hardcore that’s accessible enough to snag a lot of potential interest. That interest will undoubtedly be coming their way following today’s release of Empty Set (via a joint release between Grave Mistake and Sorry State Records), the full-length that “Sicks” is taken from. Importantly, the band seems to have already grasped one of the keys to an early success- and that lies in the fact that no matter how aggressive Brain F≠ gets, they always retain a sense of fun that’s often far too buried (and crucial) to music that operates on the fringes of hardcore. “Sicks” is a genuine moment of excitement from a band worth getting excited over. Hear “Sicks” below and go destroy something useless.