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.
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.