Heartbreaking Bravery

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Tag: Naked Hour

Truman & His Trophy – Truman Kills A Bug (EP Review)

truman & his trophy

Trust Fund, Petite LeagueShelf Life, Ghost Camp, Jackal Onasis, Ben Seretan, Sass Dragons, Toys That Kill, Naked Hour, Hardly Boys, Molar/Pale Kids, Vallens, Grey Bath, Laptop Funeral, Comprador, and Guts Club were among the bands that churned out excellent full streams in the last week and a half. Another band that added their name to that very impressive list: Truman & His Trophy. Now, several readers of this site will likely recognize Chris Sutter and Ryan Wizniak as members of Meat Wave but Truman & His Trophy precedes the formation of that band. They’re also responsible for one of the most gloriously insane concept albums of all time (the header photo’s a good indication of the band’s vision).

After the release of the aforementioned concept record — 2011’s Bottom George Pizza Planet — the band played a few shows and mostly fizzled out, rarely coming out of hiding to play a show. A new record seemed like it could be out of the question, especially in the wake of Meat Wave’s surprising (but extremely well-deserved) success. No one was expecting the band to make a power move this year but the band revels in exploiting the unexpected and gifted the world the ferocious Truman Kills A Bug EP just a short while ago.

Largely picking up where they left off, the band dives back into their seemingly alien take on the kind of punk that’s frequently tied to Steve Albini; cold, vicious, and punishingly direct. For as outlandish as the narratives can get in the land of Truman (and his trophy), the music remains startlingly effective. There’s always been a lot to love about this band and Truman Kills A Bug offers plenty of reminders over why the band became such a fiercely beloved local act in the first place. It’s raw, deceptively intelligent, and always leaves you wanting more. All you need to do to squash that longing is hit repeat.

Listen to Truman Kills A Bug below and pick it up from the band here.

Naked Hour – Always On the Weekend (Stream)

Naked Hour

The past few days saw a small handful of great songs find release from the likes of Night School, Yung, Gothic Tropic, Walter Schriefels, and Silent Pictures. Naked Hour confidently added themselves to those ranks with the dynamic “Always on the Weekend”, from their forthcoming record of the same name. Always on the Weekend is Good Cheer’s first release following Mo Troper’s astonishing Beloved and the label’s set to continue their winning streak.

“Always on the Weekend” starts off at a gentle clip, nearly resembling a lullaby at several points through its first 40 seconds. Just as it seems “Always on the Weekend” will maintain the serene nature of its introduction the song veers left into a sharp explosion of noisy, subversive pop-punk. For just under a minute Naked Hour thrives off the explosive energy of the main section of “Always on the Weekend” before quietly settling back into the subdued cadences of the intro section. It’s an effectively haunting whisper that elevates “Always on the Weekend” from a good song to a great one. Don’t let it go unheard.

Listen to “Always on the Weekend” below and pre-order the upcoming tape here.

Mercury Girls – All That Heaven Allows (Stream)

mercury girls

The past few months have been particularly generous in the new songs department and the past few days have added gems from Petite League (ft. Jamie Brooks), Naked Hour, Yucky Duster, and Grieving. One of the most invigorating, newly released songs came courtesy of Mercury Girls. The band had already unveiled the shimmering A-side, “Ariana“, to their forthcoming single and now they’ve unveiled the equally strong B-side.

In 2015 the band topped this site’s Odds and Ends list and they’re making a memorable showing with Ariana b/w All That Heaven Allows that may land them another December spot seven months down the line. “All That Heaven Allows” is another piece of sublime perfection from a band that’s making a case for being one of the best (and most subversive) powerpop acts currently making music.

Only a small handful of songs into their career and the band’s already established themselves as a legitimate powerhouse. “All That Heaven Allows” is another track that surges and spirals towards the stratosphere, while maintaining its convictions and effortlessly relaying a sense of purpose. Both the bands grasp on dynamics and their guitar work remain as tasteful as ever, as the soaring vocals (and vocal melodies) continue to be unforgettable.

What Mercury Girls are doing right now is the kind of thing that only happens a few times throughout the course of a generation. Their current run is as close to flawless as any band’s likely to come and each new entry has surpassed exceedingly high expectations with an astonishing amount of ease. Graceful, sweet, and transcendent, “All That Heaven Allows” is another victory lap for a band that seems to be constitutionally incapable of disappointment. More than a few dozen listens in, the track still manages to invoke a surprising emotional response that ensures its rank as one of 2016’s most vivid highlights.

Listen to “All That Heaven Allows” below and pre-order their upcoming 7″ here.