Heartbreaking Bravery

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Tag: Take Me Dancing

No Hoax – No Hoax (Music Video)

no hoax

Music videos from the likes of Green Dreams, TwistSLØTFACE, Heidi Lynne Gluck, The RaveonettesTrentemøller, NAKED, and Mick Jenkins closed out last week in a memorable fashion. In that stretch, emergent Wisconsin act No Hoax also finally offered up their first round of recorded material and a blisteringly effective music video to accompany that release. “No Hoax”, their untitled debut EP’s centerpiece claimed the distinction of being the band’s first visual presentation and it serves as a definitive statement of the band’s early identity.

At the start of this year, I was fortunate enough to share a bill with No Hoax and catch their live show, which has been building a steadily increasing amount of buzz for over a year. The set they played remains one of the most powerful I’ve seen in 2016, which has boasted some seriously memorable outings. Combining a shoegaze-friendly wall-of-sound with post-punk atmospherics and absolutely vicious hardcore leanings, they conjured up something visceral and unforgettable. Since that set, the wait for their first recorded material has been frustrating but, thankfully, that wait’s finally over.

Not only has the band offered up their ferocious EP, they’ve provided an accompanying music video. “No Hoax”, easily the quietest moment on the EP, gets some additional bite with a direct black-and-white clip of the band performing the song in various locations. There are no frills and no flashy editing tricks, allowing the band to boldly stand on their own immediate merit, which is considerable and backed up by the members’ collective pedigree. By the time “No Hoax” ends, it feels less like a music video and more like a warning shot. No Hoax is planting their feet in the ground, not moving an inch, and making their name known. Learn it now.

Watch “No Hoax” below and pick up the band’s debut EP here.

Glueboy – Yikes (Album Review)

Glueboy XXI

The past few Friday’s haven’t offered much in the way of new material but this week proved to be an exception, gifting the world new tracks from Earth Girls, Anti Pony, JEFF The Brotherhood, Slow MassSLØTFACE, Kindling, Emma Ruth Randle, Looming, Divan, Sheer, Criminal Hygiene, Raury, Buzz Kull, Gothic Tropic, The Raveonettes, Scarlett Saunders, Banks & Steelz (ft. Kool Keith), Sharks Teeth, and Bueno. Additionally, there were full streams from Steve Adamyk Band, Eric Slick, Hollow Sunshine, and an entrancing music video from Massive Attack.

While all of those proved to be worthy titles, it’s Glueboy‘s sophomore full-length debut, Yikes, that earns this post’s featured spot. Following two promising releases, the band fully capitalizes on their potential and lets loose from the record’s onset with the fiery “Foot Soldier”. After a deceptive 40 second buildup, “Foot Soldier” takes off at full sprint and from that moment forward, Yikes never looks back.

Importantly — and largely thanks to the mixing and mastering team of Flagland‘s Nick Dooley and Big Ups‘ Amar Lal — this is the best Glueboy’s ever sounded on record. Following 2015’s impressive Videodrama EP, the band sounds revitalized, attacking every square inch of these songs with a newfound conviction. It’s a trait that’s evident from Yikes‘ opening run of songs and that sense of galvanization never wavers. Whether it’s guitarist/vocalist Jonathan Marty’s frantic, deeply-felt vocal work, bassist/vocalist Coby Chafets’ increasingly sharp lyric sets, or the additional sense of purpose that seems to have elevated Eli Sills’ drumming.

Everything clicks, congealing into a whirling dervish of a record that feels volatile and grounded simultaneously. Even when the band’s being boldly transparent in their influences (the vocal pattern and general construction of “Telescreen”, for example, is incredibly reminiscent of Titus Andronicus’ “Dimed Out“), there’s a genuine spark behind their playing that essentially erases any room for complaint. Helping matters along is that those moments are few and far between, allowing the rest of Yikes to firmly establish the band’s own singular identity.

Yikes also winds up benefiting from its members’ intrinsic musicality [disclosure: I lived with Chafets for half of 2015 and had several opportunities to join in jam sessions with all of the band’s members] and their comprehensive understanding of their chosen genre. Taken as a whole, the level of musicianship Marty, Chafets, and Sills imbue Yikes with is incredibly impressive, conjuring up levels of energy that oscillate but never come anywhere close to stagnancy.

Helping Yikes maintain its pace is the fact that only two of the songs eclipse the three minute mark, keeping things lively. Nearly every song in the collection comes in at a furious tempo, with the band seemingly intent on finding catharsis through destruction. Remarkably, the trio seems to actually achieve that goal at nearly every turn. Personal confessions, declarations, and half-buried desires litter Yikes‘ narrative landscape and breathe an additional level of life into the proceedings, coming to a climactic moment that serves as the record’s finale.

At the end of “Falling Down” everything finally threatens to go off the rails for good, splintering apart into near-chaos as the band lays seemingly everything on the line. Chafets (who trades vocal leads with Marty throughout the record) screams his larynx raw in the song’s closing passage, with the band around him erupting into a hardcore spree before cutting out abruptly. It’s an extraordinary ending to a record that should prove to be monumental to the band’s evolution as well as their reputation. Earnest, uncompromising, and endlessly fascinating, Yikes is more than just a much-needed jolt of pure basement pop adrenaline- it’s one of the year’s best surprises.

Listen to Yikes below and pick up a copy here.