November 30, 2012
Black With Sap is pleased to announce that we will be releasing our first 12″ record this Winter. It will be a split release between Portland’s Lee Corey Oswald and Philly’s Three Man Cannon (featuring members of Tigers Jaw)! This record will be a group effort with our friend Russell and his new label Stereophonodon. Both bands will be touring the East coast in December and preorders will launch on December 13th. First pressing will consist of 500 records on 3 different colors, but more about that later…
October 26, 2012
Rather than brood about how I’m missing the Fest this year, I decided to be a little more productive. We’re running a content and giving away 3 (possibly more) tapes. Just go to the Black With Sap facebook page, and share the latest post (w/ an adorable dog) and you’ll be entered to win. HAPPY HALLOWEEN PARTY PEOPLE.
February 23, 2012
We’ve been pretty quiet lately, but there’s a lot of stuff happening at Black With Sap Headquarters. Long-windedness ahead.
First of all, the Innards/Reptilian splits are up in the store. If you missed these bands on their Winter tour, shame on you. These records turned out even better than I had expected. Hand-screened covers are the way to go. We even pressed limited colored vinyl. Alluring, no?
At long last, we finally have a new cassette release! This one comes to you from Portland’s Girlfriends. Girlfriends is actually just one really talented dude by the name of Jerry Joiner. Jerry plays every instrument, constructing layered songs that are as intricate as they are original. It’s not quite emo, not quite math rock. Think Foals crossed with Kidcrash, and you might be kinda close. This cassette features the self-titled album on one side and the “Reverse” album on the other.
I just put a bunch of new distro 7″s in the online store. Other releases in the works include a cassette version of Kite Party’s Baseball Season with brand new artwork and screened covers, and a benefit compilation for diabetes research. If you or anyone you know would like to submit a song for the diabetes comp, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org! We would love to hear something new or unreleased, but we’re open to anything. Judging by the bands that have responded so far, you would be in great company.
December 27, 2011
Note: In the next few weeks, we’ll be posting “Best of 2011″ lists from Black With Sap’s family and friends. This was by far the most exhaustive and meticulous write-up I’ve ever done. It probably wasn’t even worth the time I put into it, but here goes nothing:
Honorable Mentions (In No Particular Order)
Tom Waits – Bad As Me
Tom Waits is back from a spell of inactivity to prove he’s still the king of barrooms everywhere. This album has been dragged through the gravel, soaked in whiskey, set on fire, and run over by a train, but it still comes out smelling like roses. Seriously, how can one man be this good for this long?
La Dispute – Wildlife
I’ll be honest. I wrote this band off when the masses began to adore them (because I’m way too cool for popular hardcore, or something…), but this album surprised me. La Dispute gave up their heart-on-the-sleeve urgency for a more subtle, mature sound. This album is dark, inspiring, and incredibly well-executed. I still can’t listen to “King Park” or “Edward Benz, 27 Times” without getting goosebumps.
Lee Corey Oswald – Moon Songs
At first, Lee Corey Oswald might seem like just a bunch of dudes with punk influences that can’t decide what style they want to play. Give it a little time though, this one’s a grower. Once you realize what makes these 14 songs so special (namely: the musicianship, crafty songwriting, vocal melodies and harmonies, etc.), the truth becomes evident: these guys are just too talented to pigeon-hole themselves into one particular sound. Lucky for us, they don’t have to.
Mike Adams at His Honest Weight – Oscillate Wisely
Half way between singer-songwriter and a lo-fi garage band, Oscillate Wisely is its own beast entirely. Mike Adams plays every instrument on the album and isn’t afraid to layer on rich instrumentation along side healthy doses of fuzz and reverb. It’s an interesting dichotomy, but it serves his ambitious songwriting well.
Portugal. The Man – In the Mountain In the Cloud
Portugal. The Man has released some pretty mediocre albums lately, in my opinion. Interestingly enough, their major label debut turned out to be my favorite in recent years. In the Mountain In the Cloud is the perfect balance of psychedelia, pop, and rock n’ roll. It’s simultaneously the most experimental and the most accessible album they’ve written in years, and I guarantee it will leave songs stuck in your head for days.
Wu Lyf – Go Tell Fire to the Mountain
Even with the mysterious persona and blogosphere hype aside, I think this band is super fascinating. On paper, the combination of soaring guitars, almost unintelligible growls, church organs, and banquet hall-sized reverb seems almost laughable. Yet Wu Lyf (short for World Unite Lucifer Youth Foundation) pull it off in every way. Check out this awesome video for a taste of what I’m talking about.
Restorations – Restorations
Seeing Restorations at The Fest is what really cemented this album as one of my favorites of the year. To fully appreciate the dense and complex nature of these songs, they should be played at full volume in a packed bar. I love how the low end of this album makes it as heavy as it is melodic and expansive. Even punks have to grow up sometime, but that doesn’t mean they can’t make a great album to showcase their newfound maturity.
Kurt Vile – Smoke Ring for My Halo
A smoke ring is the perfect imagery for this child prodigy’s newest album. These songs are ethereal at times and well-defined at others, floating carelessly through smokey landscapes and smooth melodies. Just when you think you’ve got a good grasp on what defines Kurt Vile’s songs, his “smoke ring” starts to lose shape and dissipate, replaced by something different – a halo, maybe?
Future Islands – On the Water
Heart-break album of the year. On the Water is a synth-heavy, low tempo pop album full of bitter-sweet melodies and ambient textures. The group’s signature vocals are a bit strange, but they complement the music well and the vocal delivery only enhances the already stirring lyrics. This album may be a bit one-dimensional, but Future Islands are so good at what they do, I really can’t complain.
By Surprise – Mountain Smashers
An endless supply of disposable emo bands seem to be appearing as of late. By Surprise have separated themselves from their peers by crafting an album that doesn’t “twinkle” or “noodle” in any way. Instead of recreating the standard emo formula, this album seems to be more influenced by 90′s alternative and indie rock. It’s quirky, fun, catchy, dynamic, and refreshing. By Surprise is here to show us the light, and thank God, it’s not shining on American Football for once.
BOAT – Dress Like Your Idols
I’m a sucker for shameless 90′s alternative worship, and well, that’s pretty much exactly what this album is. It’s clever, retro, and full of more hooks than you can shake a telecaster at. Any disillusioned thirty-something with graying hair will fall head over heels for this band, and particularly, this album.
I don’t think Parrot Flies is as immediate as Some Kind of Cadwallader was, but it reminds us why we all fell in love with this band. If you can manage to listen to the whole thing without cracking a smile, I’ll be surprised. I think Peter’s lyrics have really improved on this album, and Joe’s guitar playing is out of control. These boys are still the best at what they do. See them live before you die.
Big Kids were busy this year. With all the touring and split releases, I’m surprised they had time to write another full length at all. Still, this record was so much better than their last that it caught me off guard. The sound they produce is still huge, but they’ve added so much more to their song writing. Songs like “Catchers Mitt” and “Full Gainer” pack an emotional punch I didn’t know they had. Throw in a few anthemic sing-alongs and some noticeably dynamic songs, and well, I loved the hell out of this album.
Baseball Season is an album that hits the sweet spot between post-punk, indie, and emo. It’s the perfect halfway point between nostalgia and looking forward, between listening your favorite classics and finding something new and exciting. Few albums this year managed to keep my attention after so many rotations. It’s both playful and thoughtful, and I think it paints a picture that will remain as timeless as its name sake.
I take some weird sort of pride in knowing that this album was born from Boise, Idaho, even though I had absolutely nothing to do with it in any way. Youth Lagoon is the bedroom recordings of Trevor Powers. These songs are filled to the brim with soaring melodies, textured synths, airy vocals, and heaps of longing. It’s like electronic indie’s version of an emo album, and while that may seem like a bad combination, it’s passion and sincerity makes it really quite engaging.
I’m not sure where to even start with this album. Only a band like Fucked Up could have created such an ambitious album. The story, instrumentation, and lyrics are all perfectly crafted. The only real reason this album isn’t higher on my list is because it sort of drags on in the middle for me. Still, that’s hardly criticism. This album is a masterful, moving piece of art that needs to be experienced in its entirety. Don’t sleep on this one.
Liking this album so much might lessen my punk cred (Do I even have punk cred? Is that a real thing?), but I don’t care. It’s amazing. Every song is extremely passionate, original, honest, and different. I think my favorite part about this album is how it relies on subtleties to express emotion rather than just spewing it out haphazardly. It almost follows a story-arc with only 10 songs, but I’m amazed time and time again by how much weight each one of those songs can carry.
I always knew that Brian Fallon could write a heartfelt punk tune, but I never had any idea how soulful the man really was. For his side project (alongside The Gaslight Anthem’s guitar tech Ian Perkins), Brian tries his hand at about a half dozen other genres. My God, that boy can sing. If you’re not convinced that his voice was meant for something greater than Springsteen-esque punk songs by the end of the second song, you’re delusional. But this album is great for so many other reasons too. Fallon’s sincerity and lyrics are at a career high, plus the duo have a knack for constructing bluesy songs with some major hooks. I pretty much fall in love with a new song every time I listen to this album.
Bomb the Music Industry! seriously gets better with every album. As you might imagine, this album was the perfect companion for a careless summer. Rosenstock and company are growing up a bit, adding a healthy dose of positivity to their usual cynicism and brutal honesty. Drinking beer whilst listening to “Hurricane Waves” or “Can’t Complain” is usually enough to cure me of any bad mood. If you’re interested in catchy, thoughtful, quirky, intelligent punk rock or indie, look no further. Hell, even if you’re not in to that sort of stuff, download this album anyway.
If Vacation is the perfect summer album, Old Friends is the perfect Fall and Winter album. Pygmy Lush’s ability to make emotionally charged folk is unparalleled in music today. This album is so much more multi-dimensional than their previous effort, Mount Hope, which was already incredible. Songs vary from haunting dirges to high energy acoustic rompers and everywhere in between. We could talk about this band’s pedigree in the hardcore scene for days, but the truth is, they’re carving a better niche for themselves as Pygmy Lush than even the most influential bands they’ve been a part of in the past.
Have you ever heard a song and thought to yourself, “I could/should have written this.”? Well, that’s how I feel about this entire album. I’m not implying that I have enough talent to do such a thing, only trying to illustrate how much this album resonates with me. I think it’s pretty much perfect. There’s not a single thing I would change. The laid back vocal melodies and smooth delivery, cynical and disenchanted lyrics, skillful use of guitar dissonance, shimmering acoustic solos, prominent bass lines, etc… It all complements itself so well. Teenage Cool Kids may have drawn heavily from their 90′s indie influences, but this magnum opus has proven that they are so much more than just imitators. They’ve created a sound as relevant and distinguished as any other band you’ll hear this year.
December 10, 2011
This is Black With Sap’s newest release, in conjunction with our good friends at Carucage Records and The Ghost is Clear Records. Artwork was done by Harrison at Kid Sister Everything, and he’ll be hand-screening every cover. Saying I was extremely excited to put this record together would be an understatement. All parties involved (bands, labels, and artist) have been amazing to work with. 2 songs from both bands, and as we’ve come to expect from the two of them, both bands kill it. Carucage has a preorder up, you know what to do with it. If you run a blog or whatever, feel free to spread this shit like wildfire.
July 11, 2011
- Lion of the North – The Compass Calls EP – This is the screamo band that gave rise to Grown Ups. It rules, hard. Download it here. This EP was released by our friend Harrison at Kid Sister Everything with awesome packaging.
- Native/Lautrec/Lion of the North/Mans – 4 way split – Amazing line-up, to say the least. This insert folds out into a poster of sorts. Also released by Kid Sister.
- Lion of the North/Mans Split - Probably my favorite songs either band ever recorded. Kid Sister, as always, delivers with some cool packaging as well.
- Moldar/Matsuri Split - Awesome handmade packaging for the bands’ 09 summer tour, 5 songs from both bands.
- Moldar/Calculator Split - Handmade in June of 09, 3 songs from Calculator and 2 from Moldar
- Matsuri/Deers! Split - Handmade in the summer of 08, 3 songs from both band.
- Moldar – Last Five - Beautifully packaged with a 20+ page book and hand screened covers, last 5 songs the band released.
- Funeral Diner – The Underdark - The legendary band’s genre-defining album in a digipak case.
- Lungs- S/T - Post-something band packaged in a digipak, released by the now defunct Escucha Records.
- Suffocate For Fuck Sake – Blazing Fires and Helicopters… – This monster of an album still goes for $10. Seriously, download it if you haven’t heard it.
- Werewolves – Grind Melon - Full length album of grungy, hook-filled hardcore. Released by Bear Records.
- Monarcs – Apocalyptic Bebop – 2 members of Capsule, 4 awesome songs.
- Army of Kashyyyk/Lovers and Killers Split - Baltimore, MD emo violence and hardcore. 2 songs from both bands.
- I Create – Make the Years EP - The band put these together when they still had their old vocalist, the dude from Histories.
June 23, 2011
May 31, 2011
I just finished updating our online store with all sorts of new distro items. Since the majority of the new stuff we have is Canadian, it’s probably new to you, and you should check it out if you feel so inclined. You can visit our online store at blackwithsap.limitedpressing.com.
Speaking of which, we have decided to run a contest for the next two weeks. Anyone that orders anything from the online store will be entered into a drawing to win a test pressing of our latest release, the We Were Skeletons/ мища split 7″. At the end of two weeks, we’ll select one person at random, and send you your test press free of charge. This is the first time we’ve ever run a contest, and depending on how well this goes, we may continue to run them in the future.
p.s. Go download the new We Were Skeletons song right here. I’m crazy about the more pronounced Fugazi influence.
May 7, 2011
Brett is back from Boise and the some of the dudes (Jake, Zac, Adam, Justin(?)) from Cremation 186 have started playing with each other again. Luckily for all of us, they’re already churning out new music. This rough track, “Banshee,” has all the elements that we’ve come to expect from Cremation, heavy bass (like drop E heavy, get with it), frantic vocals (slightly stuttered), and distorted guitars that propel the whole thing forward. Imagine if Fear Before listened to a bunch of old screamo. Some eerie bits sung towards the end round the whole distorted track out nicely. I sincerely hope this band gets back on the ball and starts recording more and playing some shows. The Cremation shows that used to happen nearly every other weekend were the stuff of legends. Speaking of which, I might have to open my basement to them again. I can’t wait.
April 21, 2011
Heyo! I’m a little drunk. So what if it’s only 6:30!? There’s some awesome stuff that you should know about.
First off, Cattle Drums has their Boy Kisser Sessions + 3 up for free download. If you don’t have this already, I highly suggest picking it up. I hype this band a lot, but only because I think they’re really great.
Second, Big Kids has posted 4 new songs from their upcoming full length “Phone Home”. They are all up for free download, and they all fuckin’ rock. According to my count, this band will have released 2 full lengths, 2 splits, and one EP, all in the same year. That’s pretty impressive. Support this band in any way you can. They are the nicest dudes ever.
We’ve decided to post the Lautrec Discography. I’m not sure why we’ve been sitting on these tracks for so long, but I’m pretty sure we’ve never actually posted the whole thing. So, here you go. Enjoy it. Pick up the the tape if you feel like it.
Lastly, we should have lots of new stuff added to the distro in the next few weeks. We’ve got lots of records to trade, so if you feel like picking up any of our stuff in return for your awesome releases, please email us at email@example.com
Cameron/Black With Sap