Heartbreaking Bravery

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Tag: catchy

Lenguas Largas – Kawasaki Dream (Stream)

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Lenguas Largas have been a staple of every major punk distro worth their salt since releasing their excellent Lonely Summertime 7″ back in 2010. They followed that up with their outstanding self-titled debut which exploded on the promise of Lonely Summertime and gave them a deserved profile boost. Since then, the band’s toured heavily and hinted at new material. All of the hinting is over because their sophomore effort, Come On In, is now available on (once more) both Recess and Burger Records.

To celebrate Come On In‘s Burger release, the label’s offering up a free stream of “Kawasaki Dream”, a supercharged earworm that’s proven to be inescapable after one listen.  Everything the Tuscon act does best gets pushed to its absolute limit here, with a sugary melody, plenty of feedback, and their own distinct brand of a peculiarly madcap glee. “Kawasaki Dream” is incessant in its build and relentless in energy, combining into something dangerously addictive and completely explosive. It doesn’t even hit the two minute mark, most likely due to a realization that you can only hit a certain peak before tipping into the absurd. What it does do, however, is act as a bold declaration and reaffirmation that everyone seems to have been right about just how good this band was since the beginning.

Listen to “Kawasaki Dream” and order the Come On In cassette from Burger here.

Purling Hiss – Learning Slowly (Stream)

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In a quest to continue making up for the time lost to the month-long festival coverage dedication, several gems have been unearthed. Most of these songs have been in heavy rotation since first appearing and several even soundtracked the long festival editing process. Purling Hiss’ “Learning Slowly” earned its position as one of the most-heavily played while the NXNE and Pitchfork spots were being finalized. Jagged and hypnotic, “Learning Slowly” is a personal best for Purling Hiss and one hell of a tease for the band’s upcoming Weirdon.

Purling Hiss have made a career out of spiky lo-fi basement punk and “Learning Slowly” sees them continuing steadily on their quest to perfect the genre. Easily their most accessible- and catchiest- song to date, “Learning Slowly” could prove to be an effective warning shot for a (deservedly) broader audience. Fortunately, the band’s kept both their character and integrity in tact, which will likely take Weirdon a long way. Purling Hiss has a few things to say- and as “Learning Slowly” seems to indicate, they’re all worth listening to.

Listen to “Learning Slowly” below and keep an eye out for Weirdon‘s eventual release via Drag City.

The Rich Hands – Teenager (Stream)

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It’s been far too long since a Burger band’s been covered on here in something other than a Watch This feature, which is a damn shame because they’re still the flagship label for scrappy DIY basement pop bands and cassette culture. Luckily, The Rich Hands are here to right this wrong. Their sophomore effort is entitled Out of My Head and it’s full of gnarled pop jams. Burger’s gone ahead and shared one of the best from this release, “Teenager”, on their soundcloud. It’s an all-out blitz of a tune that comes inflected with OG punk undertones, from the snotty, simplistic melody straight through to the tuff guy exteriors, it’s a well-informed earworm that closes itself out with a perfectly placed half-time transition. Be prepared to hum this one to no one in particular for the next few days.

Listen to “Teenager” below and get to the nearest party as soon as possible.

Lady Bones + Horsehands (Split Review)

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There are times when great music comes out of nowhere and seizes everything in its path without warning, leaving the listener scrambling to catch up with the destruction it left left in its wake. It doesn’t happen very frequently but when it does, it’s sure as hell worth writing about. Enter: Lady Bones and Horsehands, two Massachusetts bands who came together to release a split last year. Unfortunately, the band only managed to get that split out digitally initially. That didn’t stop either from trying to get it out into the world in a physical format, though, which is why (as of last month) the four songs from that split now exist in the world on a few cassettes.

As for the songs themselves? They’re everything anyone should want out of a DIY basement punk release: they’re impassioned, left-field, aggressive, catchy, and bordering on unclassifiable. All four nearly run the risk of toppling themselves over with great songwriting and clever arrangements. Lady Bones’ side kicks things off and the band wastes no time in hurtling themselves towards whatever the nearest object is to them. The nonstop riffing of “Courtesy Moans” growls and races in equal measure, baring an intimidating set of fangs while lodging its claws (read: hooks) deep. “Courtsey Moans” also sets up the woozy “Hoovah” perfectly, which carries over the decidedly darker tone of its immediate predecessor (one that matches the incredible artwork for the release, pictured up above). While “Hoovah” manages to maintain the pace and atmosphere of the split, it also succeeds in showcasing Lady Bones’ range, offering up a slightly more varied take on their approach without losing any impact. If anything, a lesson that can be taken away from this is that it only takes two songs to hear the sound of a band arriving.

Horsehands’ side more than holds up, plummeting the dark atmosphere into even greater depths while continuing to expand the release’s sonic palettes. It’s still an unmistakably Boston kind of sound but, as “Flagstone Sonogram” proves, that’s not something the band holds sacred. Coming off as nightmarish as it is poppy, the song’s the audio equivalent of a kaleidoscopic fever dream that’s terrifying in the moment but revisited fondly later. Again, impressive musicianship is on full display as the arrangements weave in and out of each other with tact and grace, creating a unique sound that complements Lady Bones’ songs without overwhelming them. “Hot Pants Nose Bleed” hits a lot more directly than “Flagstone Sonogram”. proving Horsehands to be another band with dynamic range and an able command over it. It’s a short, sharp blast that rounds out four songs that play into each others strengths as well as any four possibly could while also being incredible as standalones. It’s not difficult to imagine these bands having as much clout as, say, any of the flagship bands over at Exploding in Sound, in the very near future.

Listen to both sides below and make sure both of these bands are on the radar because this is music worth hearing.

PAWS – Owls Talons Clenching My Heart (Stream)

PAWS’ Cokefloat! was one of 2012’s most refreshing full-lengths and now, two years later, they’re following it up with the bolder, more aggressive, and more fully-formed Youth Culture Forever (a title taken from a line in Adventure Time). The band offered up a first glimpse at their incredible upcoming record with “Tongues“, a song good enough to land itself in this playlistYouth Culture Forever‘s release is still just around the corner (May 6 via Fat Cat) and the band’s continuing to drum up anticipation with another preview, this time in the form of “Owls Talons Clenching My Heart”.

One of the driving forces in the creation of Youth Culture Forever was the band’s disgruntlement with the lo-fi tag that was strangely prevalent in the reviews for Cokefloat!. Both “Tongues” and “Owls Talons Clenching My Heart” have definitely proven the band’s succeeded in accomplishing a sound that’s both fuller and more clean without sacrificing an iota of their character or identity. “Owls Talons Clenching My Heart” is as scrappy and melodic as anything the band’s recorded while being just as clever (and indescribably catchy). It’s another ripper from the Glaswegian power trio that packs plenty of bite and another great example of how forceful Youth Culture Forever really is.

Listen to “Owls Talons Clenching My Heart” below and pre-order Youth Culture Forever from Fat Cat here.

New Swears – Midnight Lovers (Music Video)

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Junkfood Forever, Bedtime Whatever is the title of the upcoming New Swears record and “Midnight Lovers” is the first glimpse at what promises to be a raucous debauchery-fueled stomper of a record. The Ottawa quartet’s been making some waves for a while now but if the absolutely insane music video for “Midnight Lovers” is any indication, they’re about set to explode. It’d almost be a disservice to the video’s mania to attempt to confine it to something as trite as what really amounts to just a small blurb but to hell with it, let’s do it anyway.

“Midnight Lovers” as a music video is as frenetic as the song itself, suggesting both a defiant energy and a fuck-everything approach reminiscent of (really) early Black Lips. This includes, but is not limited to, rampant drug use, heavy drinking, nudity, a penchant for Jackass-style action, and the kind of fearlessness that comes with being totally willing to commit to just about anything. Balloons, guitars repurposed as snowboards, silly string, and girls in Senators shirts are all involved. There are times when it’s hard to remember this is a music video and not a collection of turn-of-the-century Thrasher clips (right down to the fisheye lens). Most importantly, it genuinely seems like the band’s having fun which is something the music video format could always use more of.

Watch “Midnight Lovers” below and then watch it again tomorrow. Junkfood Forever, Bedtime Whatever will be available on Bachelor Records at a to-be-determined mid-summer date.