Photo: Allison Weiss
Say What You Mean, Allison Weiss’ sophomore full-length and first for No Sleep Records, is a memorable collection of breakup songs, with the same expertly crafted balance of infectious hooks and emotional fragility found on any of Tegan and Sara’s better albums — the two even share a limited edition 12” split, in addition to an affinity for Taylor Swift. The 26-year-old is also remarkably funny, which makes her live set — and Twitter feed — all the more entertaining.
Allison, originally from Georgia and residing in Brooklyn for only a few more days, is Los Angeles-bound for now, but she’ll return to Brooklyn for a show at the Knitting Factory with Austin Lucas and PJ Bond on Dec. 10th.
Allison and I discussed her songwriting evolution, the lengthy search for a record label, and her upcoming move.
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.
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
Dan Andriano has been involved in various projects throughout recent years. His latest endeavor is a solo effort officially deemed Dan Andriano and The Emergency Room, whose debut full-length is scheduled for release on Asian Man Records this summer. Additionally, Dan has kept busy with his full-time band by putting together an album of reworked Alkaline Trio songs in celebration of the band’s fifteenth anniversary. After playing Toad’s Place in New Haven, Connecticut, Dan, despite a painful foot injury, shared some of his thoughts regarding the upcoming solo material and Alkaline Trio’s longevity while he and I walked from the venue to his hotel. Derek Grant arrived near the end of the interview to help contribute. Continue reading
Interview by Kristen Swanson
I could go on forever about the wonders of the ska/punk band Less Than Jake. These guys have been making a name for themselves ever since their first full length Pezcore came out in 1995, and they’re still going strong. LTJ is still dedicated to their music, they still put on an amazing show, and their music still sends a nostalgic chill down your spine. Check out this interview with saxophonist JR Wasilewski as he discusses the dynamic of the band, record labels, and what it’s really like to be a part of a legendary band.