San Francisco’s Deafheaven has been fairly described as a black metal, shoegaze, or post-hardcore band, but it’s difficult to reduce it to a single genre. The band’s debut full-length Roads to Judah was released to much acclaim among the communities attached to these various alternative subgenres. The record was sprawling with atmosphere, with elaborate instrumental arrangements and brooding lyrics brimming with dark imagery. The writing on Sunbather, Deafheaven’s followup to Roads to Judah, is the work of two songwriters — three fewer than on the previous full-length, but with no less ambition. In fact, the record will be 22 minutes and three tracks longer than its predecessor, with multiple instrumental interludes intersecting with stories of class disparity, romantic detachment, and family. I discussed the songwriting process and the content of Sunbather with vocalist George Clarke after the band played a one-off show in Brooklyn.
Author Archives: Anthony Glaser
Impressive dynamics, scathing lyrics, and artistic cohesiveness have accurately characterized Propagandhi in the past; the same applies here, on Propagandhi’s sixth full-length and Epitaph Records debut, but these characteristics are on such prominent display this time around that I can’t help but hail Failed States as the band’s best release.
On Failed States, Propagandhi critiques subjects ranging from human nature to the often deafening effects of social media — some broad subjects, for sure, but their vitriol is just as passionately applied to specific current events. On “Rattan Cane,” bassist Todd Kowalski assumes the menacing voice of an Indonesian police officer as he, in his fascist act of “spiritual cleansing,” shaves the head of a young punk. The empowering “Cognitive Suicide,” meanwhile, addresses the degrading “gender verification” of Olympic track runner Caster Semenya in 2009. “Are they terrified of unobscured and brilliant colours?” asks Kowalksi. “Perhaps you cracked the door to their own forbidden worlds.” The song is annotated with additional words of encouragement for Semenya.
This July, Defiance, Ohio made available on its website, with no prior notice, two new songs. Subsequent weeks saw the release of four more. All six comprise The Calling, a self-released digital-only EP that is in part a celebration of the band’s tenth anniversary.
Defiance, Ohio was a very different band ten years ago. Formerly an acoustic trio, its unique brand of folk punk has evolved considerably. The Calling retains some of the acoustic elements upon which the band was founded, as “Bad Ideas” is initially a 3/3 acoustic solo number, until the percussion gradually enters and the song becomes a swaying singalong.
Kiss of Death Records has posted a stream of two tracks from an upcoming 7″ split featuring Boston-based acoustic singer-songwriter Jeff Rowe and Oswego, New York punk rock band Mayflower. The record will be released April 24th. In addition to one original song from each artist, the split will include material in which Jeff Rowe and Mayflower cover each other’s songs.
“We’d talked about doing something like this for years, and it’s nice to see that come to fruition,” said Rowe. “It’s a fantastic thing to have a split out with people that you adore and love their music as well.”
The 7″ will be available on Rowe’s and Mayflower’s respective tours. Rowe will play several dates in Canada and the East Coast before heading off to Europe, while Mayflower will play a few dates in Quebec, including Pouzza Fest May 20th.
Check out “Out on a High Note” and “Crutch” right here.
Click “continue reading” to view Mayflower’s upcoming tour dates.
Loma Prieta is a band of consistency. Having released four 12″ releases in just over four years, the band is committed to routinely writing, recording, and releasing music, and yet its members remain humble about their already-extensive output, hesitating to identify any of these 15 to 24-minute releases as “LPs.” I.V., the band’s Deathwish Inc. debut, further establishes Loma Prieta as an unstoppable force within the realm of hardcore. Embodying elements of screamo, emo violence, and traditional hardcore, the band’s sound is difficult to pigeonhole, as I.V. explores a diverse array of melody, distortion, grittiness, and experimentation, with many of these characteristics overlapping in a unique manner. I spoke to the band in Hamden, Connecticut, to discuss the record and the unrelenting drive that informed its creation.
Three months ago, Pianos Become the Teeth released their stunning followup to Old Pride. Refining the post-rock elements and sharpening the lyrical focus to be more direct, The Lack Long After is an incredibly weighty, touching and personal record with as much heart as its predecessor. It is a powerful, emotional record about the gut-wrenching challenges in confronting and subsequently accepting loss. It is also musical catharsis at its best, a testament to the transcending potential of the post-hardcore genre, and a record that will encourage you to remind your closest relatives of how much you love them. I spoke with the band in Hamden, Connecticut, to reflect upon the record’s completion and how it has informed the band’s perceptions of being engaged to such an absorbing aspect of their lives.
Post-hardcore outfit La Dispute, in conjunction with No Sleep Records, is encouraging listeners to raise donations for 826 Michigan, a Michigan-based non-profit writing and tutoring center, by purchasing from the band’s digital discography on Bandcamp.
La Dispute will donate the proceeds raised from all of today’s Bandcamp purchases to 826 Michigan. The band requires no minimum donation, and donations will be raised for twenty-four hours Christmas day.
Through the work of tutors and volunteers, 826 Michigan is an organization dedicated to developing students’ creative and expository writing skills.
The members of La Dispute write: Continue reading
Floorboards is technically a reissue of an album that was released last year. In the updated version, however, it is paired with 2008’s The Earthling Sessions, a three-song EP comprised of the band’s early material. Merging the two releases was a logical decision on label Topshelf Records‘ part, as the record retains the feel of a cohesive full-length. The Earthling Sessions is not simply a tacked-on demo, but an essential piece of the Caravels discography that complements its full-length counterpart both stylistically and thematically. Here, the two become a potent combination. Continue reading
Near the start of a lengthy fall tour, the members of Caravels found themselves in a discouraging predicament when their van suddenly broke down in New Mexico. They chose to persevere, however, following the subsequent outpouring of support. Anxious fans sent e-mails and offered donations, so the band decided to press on. It is this spirited sense of enthusiasm that probably best characterizes Caravels’ approach to life on tour. On November 6th, they played two house shows within the span of twelve hours, both of which featured an entirely unique set of dynamic post-hardcore. I spoke to singer Michael Roeslein in Willimantic, Connecticut shortly after the band played to a small number of people in a cold, musty basement. Continue reading
Pianos Become the Teeth has revealed the track list and artwork for The Lack Long After, the band’s upcoming full-length on Topshelf Records. The album will be released November 1st, and is currently available for pre-order.
Stream “Spine,” a track from The Lack Long After, at the Siq Shit blog here.
Click “continue reading” to view the upcoming tour dates.