After another dormancy of a few years, Raein is back with another full-length record. The reigning kings of the European screamo scene return with their best material to date. Where other bands within this same vein tend to rely on conventions, Raein discards and looks elsewhere for inspiration. Raein truly proves that on this album. This record sounds more inspired by bands such as Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr. than any 90s emo or hardcore bands. Bended notes, feedback, and walls of distortion are as common as the clean guitar parts, and each bit is highlighted by the production of this beautiful record. The prevalent bass adds a certain groove to this record that many within this genre lack. Shared vocal duties work extremely well for Raein. Most lines are done by both vocalists, adding noticeable elements of vocal interplay when one rises above the other. Don’t snooze on this one, it has the potential to be regarded as the magnum opus of European screamo.

Pick up a copy when this comes out. The entire project was self-produced and your support helps to cover some of those pesky production costs.

Download.

So I’ve seen this album popping up all over the place, but until today, I never gave it a listen. That was a mistake on my part. To be honest, I’m not really sure how to best describe Mansion’s (or should I say Christopher Browder’s) sound. At its core, I would say this is an emo/pop album, but there’s really so much more going on than that label implies. Browder’s vocals are almost like a southern croon, but still really passionate. His lyrics are very personal and full of emotion, but it’s tasteful and never too self-indulgent. The instrumentation and compositions are very catchy, but still have a great deal of grit and lo-fi appeal. This guy is a great musician and a great songwriter, and I really suggest picking this album up. If you still have no idea what it sounds like, watch the video for single “City Don’t Care” below.

 

 

Buy.

Download.

I am not entirely sure what to say about this album. Small Brown Bike are a band that’s basically reached cult status in the No Idea Records-esque punk/post-hardcore scene. When I was at the Fest 8, I met people who flew from all over the globe to see the band play a reunion set. After splitting up in 2004, they’ve reunited and released a new full length. If you are familiar with the band, this album will seem like a natural progression. It feels more modern, but it’s still very much like the old stuff. If you don’t know Small Brown Bike, picture the middle ground between gruff, emotive punk like Hot Water Music and more intense emo/post-hardcore bands like Castevet (or CSTVT, stupid damn name change). Yeah, that’s all I got. Check it out. There’s a reason these guys are so influential.

Preorder.

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Dikembi are a new band from Gainesville, Florida. I read somewhere that they have members of Wavelets, but don’t quote me on that. This 4 song EP is awesome for a number of reasons. First of all, they play some really catchy tunes that are a combination of pop punk and noodley emo. It’s nothing revolutionary, but it’s really well done and they keep it interesting (something that more bands along these lines should take note of). Secondly, the song titles are all clever play on words on players from the Chicago Bulls and weed lingo. What’s better than that? Lastly, it’s free. Get on it.

Download from Bandcamp.

More Cattle Drums

February 24, 2011

I have watched this video at least 5 times today. The song hooked me almost instantly and hasn’t let go yet.

Tiny Engines is releasing Cattle Drum’s amazing debut The Boy Kisser Sessions with 3 extra songs. You can buy all the songs on itunes, or for only $4 on Tiny Engine’s bandcamp page. The 3 new songs, like the rest of the release, are really awesome. This band can do no wrong, as far as I’m concerned. The band says that they will be recording a full-length this summer. I’m stoked.

Click here to stream and/or buy the entire release.

What do you get when you mix The Blood Brothers, At The Drive In, Algernon Cadwallader, 2 drummers, 2 vocalists, twinkly/mathy guitars, and Scottish accents? Well, I’d say it has the potential to be a drool-worthy combination, or a recipe for total disaster. At about the 5 minute mark of Dananananaykroyd’s debut full length, you’ll probably have made up your own mind on the band’s strange sound.

First thing’s first. Let’s get that name out of the way. It’s fucking stupid, right? I mean, there are some long and obnoxious band names out there, but these guys might just take the cake. If you have to put your own name in a song to demonstrate how it’s pronounced (which is the first thing you’ll hear on the whole album), you might have gone overboard. But, find it in your heart to look past the name and give this album an honest listen, and you might find some gems.

“Hey Everyone!” is an album that dips and sways in all different directions, while never totally losing its form. The band merges pop-sensibilities with an onslaught of technical, melodic guitars and growling dual vocals. Occasionally, the band devolves into post-hardcore freak-outs (see the ending of “The Greater Than Symbol And The Hash”), or puts a little hop in your step with extremely catchy compositions (as in “Black Wax” and “Some Dresses”). The band even adds in a few melancholy tapping parts and vocal harmonies that would make American Football fans proud (see the bridge in “1993”). When it comes down to it, Dananananaykroyd have made an album that might not be easily digested on first listen, but has some serious pay-offs for patient listeners.

Download.

Also, check out the video for the single “Black Wax”:

Really excited about this one. 3 new songs from Willimantic, Connecticut’s atmospheric emo/indie band. I’ve spoken to a few people who haven’t listened to this band because they were turned off by their name alone, and if you’re in that boat, knock it off. Their last EP “Formlessness” was so damn good. The only complaint I have about this release is that it’s way too short. As soon as you get into it, it’s pretty much over. But hey, it’s free, so download it anyway.

Website.

Download.

This band came out of left field for me and ended up kicking me in the side of the head. I think I initially hesitated to listen due to the fact I thought their name was dumb. Oops. There’s a lesson to be learned here; and no, it isn’t “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” because it isn’t a cover, it’s a band name. The lesson is that life is full of regrettable decisions and life goes on.

So much solid material here in an all-too-short 14 minute package. Cattle Drums, for some reason, remind me of what Nada Surf could have sounded like if they decided to grow some bigger balls while writing their song “Popular.” The vocals are a combination of talking, singing, and shouting. The best description I can come up with is that Cattle Drums take Brainworms’ sound and sprinkle some extra twinkle top of the whole recipe, filling the void that Brainworms left in my heart when they broke up.

” Sluts and Coconuts” and “Two Pigeons” are the two shining moments on this brilliant ep. “Two Pigeons” has a rollicking country sound to it, enhanced by banjo plucking and gang sing-a-longs. Despite ambiguous lyrics, the chorus for “Sluts and Coconuts” sends shivers up and down my spine. You’ll see what I mean.

From what I can tell, these guys are part of that whole scene with Sirs and Zona Mexicana which seems to be really burgeoning right now. Everything coming out of there puts an awesome spin on the midwest emo sound. Check them out and order a copy of their EP with the money you have left over after buying your P. Diddy shrimping boat.

EDIT: Haha. I just found a punknews.org review for this that also mentions Nada Surf’s “Popular.” I swear I didn’t find that until after I wrote this. I’m glad the feeling is mutual though.

Buy.

Myspace.

Download.

Lautrec discography tapes are done and look awesome, if I do say so myself. They were shipped out to the band today so they can have them at their final show on June 20th at Strangelight in Chicago. If you’re from that area, GO. They’re playing with Grown Ups and Cloud Mouth, two other awesome bands. They’ll have the discography cassette and a new 7″ there for sale.

Here’s what the cassette looks like in all of its glory:

Tracklist:

1. Cranked (previously unreleased)

2. Pulling Books (previously unreleased)

3. Catledge

4. Quiet Earp

5. Tonn Tonn Sleeping Bag

6. Track 1

7. Caypo

8. Jazzy

9. Modern Technology

10. Pushin’ For Cushion

11. Slider

12. Taylor’s Tent

13. Word Problems

Price: $5 (plus $2 Shipping)

Purchase!

Here’s Lautrec’s 8 songs, featured as part of this discography. Check it out:

Download.

Myspace.

Street Smart Cyclist

May 26, 2010

Street Smart was an emo band that existed from 2005 – 2008 from Bethlehem, PA. Members went on to form the band Snowing, who I believe just recorded their first full length. Unfortunately, their entire discography consists of a demo, an acoustic tour EP, and two unreleased songs. It’s a grand total of only 8 songs, but it’s all good stuff. I pretty much fell in love with this band the first time I heard them, especially with songs like “Kiss Kitty On The Lips”. That shit’s gold.

Download.

Myspace.