26 March 2010

Punkin Pie - Broke Truck, Good Luck (2007)

 Punkin Pie features Emmalee, Brad, and Kirke from Rosa. Both bands existed contemporaneously for a brief period, and then after the breakup of Rosa, Punkin Pie became their main band. Then i guess Kirke quit the band shortly after. Every time i listen to Rosa i wish they hadn't broken up. Punkin Pie has also since broken up and i wish they hadn't.

This is rough and outstandingly fun pop-punk with male/female vocals. Every song sounds like they were just having a blast, but i guess it couldnt have been that great due them having broken up.
Not dissimilar from Plan-It-X labelmates Chinese Telephones.

Wingnut Dishwashers Union - Burn The Earth, Leave it Behind

The newer project from Pat the Bunny, of Johnny Hobo and the Freight Trains. The recording quality is a little higher than some of his past work, and theres no trumpet as per Johnny Hobo, and it has more to do with politics than drugs, but the songs are still incredible. He has a fantastic songwriting talent and manages to do so much with so little (in terms of instrumentation and complexity). It's very personality-driven music.

Recently, Pat the Bunny had this to say, on his website:

"December 6, 2009
I have entered a year long treatment program for addiction. During this time I will not be able to send or receive mail. I'm sorry to people who ordered things and did not get them. It's very unclear whether I will keep playing punk rock music when that peiod of time is over. I wish that I knew more, but nothing is certain right now. Thank you for liking songs that I wrote, and helping me not feel so alone a lot of the time.

(pat the bunny)"
So it might seem contrived of me to say so but i hope all goes well because i love the songs this man writes. One of the best folk-punk artists around, no question.

23 March 2010

Joshua Fit For Battle - To Bring Our Own End

Late '90s screamo band out of Newark, Delaware. Now defunct. Along with such bands as pg. 99, part of the so-called "first wave" of screamo (aka skramz), to be differentiated from such infinitely lamer bands such as Thursday and The Used.
First wave screamo draws a lot more heavily from hardcore and has much fewer clean vocals than later screamo. It also seems unlikely you would hear this on mainstream radio.

Such song titles as 'Destroying From the Inside Out Kinda Like Cancer' and 'Fuck The Men in Her Life' give you an idea of the tone of this album.

18 March 2010

Laughing Owls - Bad Knees

This isn't exactly typical for music i post here, but then again...
Laughing Owls is Meagan Day, who now makes music as Wisdom Tooth. Meagan Day makes quiet solo acoustic music. This album is 23 short songs, and i think it was recorded on a Macbook. I find it all very endearing, and the songs range from the good to the superb. I have a soft spot for homemade, DIY music.
So i can't guarantee this is for everyone, but i don't think one single album i've posted has been for everyone.
Except me.

Standout songs include "medical district song", "miles away (response)", and "when i went to the coast".

Oh this album is available for free on her last.fm as well.

17 March 2010

The Gundown - A Tribute to Isolation

Spanish pop-punk band. Their last.fm page calls them a hardcore band but i can't imagine why. This is (almost) textbook pop-punk, with lots of whoa-oh's and transitions from driving verses to cleaner bridges. What is atypical and interesting about The Gundown is the presence of (tasteful) guitar solos, which lends the band a distinctly Dinosaur Jr. flavour to it as well.

This is a very enjoyable 5-song EP. I like it. Maybe you will too!

16 March 2010

Declan de Barra - Song of a Thousand Birds

Debut album of the solo career of Declan de Barra, formerly of the inimitable Clann Zu.

This departs from the epic-ness and prog influences that were characteristic of Clann Zu (especially their second album), and instead is an almost entirely acoustic album. The driving force of both remains Declan de Barra's incredible voice.

Born in Waterford, Ireland, de Barra emigrated to Australia where he would form Clann Zu in 1999. Clann Zu recorded two (AMAZING) albums and then broke up in 2004. He returned to Ireland and began his solo career. This album was recorded in a series of flats and abandoned rooms over a year and a half.

He recently released his sophomore album, A Fire to Scare the Sun. Song of a Thousand Birds is now available for free download (optional purchase) on his website.

12 March 2010

His Name Shall Breathe - There is an Earthquake Inside of Me


His Name Shall Breathe is Tim Martin (formerly of Portland-area hardcore band Brutal Fight), making plaintive acoustic music. This is pretty much a flawless album; beautiful yet technically proficient guitar playing, honest and introspective lyrics delivered by a soft voice. "55th and Halsey" in particular is excellent.

Similar in style to Right Away, Great Captain!, or perhaps Kind of Like Spitting's slower stuff.

HNSB offers this album for free apparently, but here it is anyway.

11 March 2010

Defeater - Travels (2008)

Defeater is a great hardcore band from Massachusetts. Energetic and unpretentious; recommended for fans of Ruiner and The Carrier. Great lyrics and overall very well-written and interesting songs. Great drumming.

Disaster - Demo

Disaster is a band featuring Geoff of Defiance, Ohio. All that seems to exist of Disaster is this 8-song demo from 2005. I guess it wasn't a very long-lived side project. Regardless, while a very cheap and rough recording, i think it is a pretty cool album. The speech recordings interspersed between the songs add a lot to the album, and it fits with the large multimedia component they have (had?) in their shows. The slideshows are available on their website and tie in with the songs closely. Anything relating to the band is available for free on said website.

Maths - MMVII

British independent screamo band. Similar to Loma Prieta and Battle of Wolf 359. This is a compilation CD of songs from their demo, previous EP and some live stuff.

They released a new full length in 2009 called Descent.

07 March 2010

Ennio Morricone

Ennio Morricone created the spaghetti western sound for his work on Sergio Leone movies. Even if you're not a fan of old westerns, you have to admit the sound he created for those movies is incredible. The choice of using trumpets, voices, sound effects, and the relatively new electric guitar for a movie score was unheard of at the time and was used because the budget was too low to afford an orchestra.

I made my own little mixtape here because i found Morricone albums either run way too long (31 tracks!?) to actually be able to digest it or miss out on some key songs. So here is a selection. First track here, "The Ecstasy of Gold", is one of the best things i've ever heard.

Cotton Jones - Paranoid Cocoon

Cotton Jones is Michael Nau and Whitney McGraw (both formerly of indie-pop darlings Page France). Here, they make a sound evocative of '60s folk and soul albums. It's a very cool sound, complete with Hammond organ and spring-reverbed guitars. Not one second of it seems derivative or contrived in the least, it's just a very special type of homage.

Madeline - The Slow Bang

Madeline Adams (also of Nana Grizol) makes acoustic folk music as Madeline. This is her second album, and while not as quirky as her first album (Kissing and Dancing) it is a very good album. "Sleeping Dogs" is good enough to download the album just for that

The Riot Before - Fists Buried in Pockets

The Riot Before is a band that plays folk-tinged brand of punk rock/orgcore that could be compared to Fake Problems or other children of the Gainesville sound.

06 March 2010

Direct Hit - #4

This is my very first request! Thanks to Sarah V.

Direct Hit! is a pop-punk band from Milwaukee, WI. This is a 4-song EP available for purchase/donation-based-download here: http://directhit.bandcamp.com/

It's melodic and catchy, and it took me a few days to figure out what it reminds me of. Then i figured out that it reminds me of Harvey Danger kind of, except pop-punk.