Instead of working on this post, I spent the last two evenings reading. So instead of giving you a new band and new album to check out (sorry Groundhog Day. You’ll shine next week!) I’m giving you one of my favorite bands/albums of the last 5 years.
The Derby, Uk band, along with My Heart To Joy, were my introduction to Topshelf Records and more importantly, the emo revival. In a lot of ways, Crash of Rhinos reminds me of Braid and Texas is the Reason, with the band throwing in some Mineral and American Football style twinkle on the second half of the album.
You can download Knots (and the band’s 2011 record Dista) at https://crashofrhinos.bandcamp.com/
There’s not a lot of information surrounding Birds & Twigs, the music endeavor from photographer Alex Bober. A Facebook pgae that just links to the album. Two tweets, one that reads the album is on Bandcamp and coming to streaming services. The other that states it won’t and that project is going a different direction. A project of mystery.
Domestica reminds of Sigur Ros and Jonsi’s solo projects. The album’s open, Ornithology, a title that makes sense when you check out Alex’s photography, is the most singer/songwriter track of the ep. But the ambient tones of the record give way to a clear Sigur Ros influence. The two other tracks really drive home the ambient, Sigur Ros influence. In a lot of ways they remind me of “Over the Pond” from The Album Leaf’s In A Safe Place.
You can name your own price for Domestica at https://birdsandtwigs.bandcamp.com/album/domestica
Happy New year! Free music Friday has returned! I miss spending hours going through Bandcamp and discovering new music. So we’re going to bring back free music Friday in 2019. I spewnt about a half an hour on Bandcamp the other day and downloaded a few dozen records!
To kick us off in 2019 I have Vancouver based Either/Or. Either/Or’s “Categories of Colour was released on December 21st. The thing I like about Either/Or is how they are at the same time super chill and very mathy. It’s an oxymoron, I know. But the fact of the matter is Either/Or strikes a perfect balance. THe guitar works keeps the songs interesting, while the drums provide a solid base.
Categories of Colour is available on Either/Or’s Bandcamp page and you can name your own price! Go give it a spin!
Part of the draw to punk and hardcore is the community. A place where you could freely share you beliefs and engage is politics and activism and make a difference in your community. I loved going to shows at VFW halls where a canned food got you a lower “ticket” price. It was a small way to give back to the community. With that in mind, enter Michigan emo outfit Baggage. The Flint based band has released a new ep called The Good That Never Comes. This release is a pay what you want download and ALL of the money from this month is going directly into getting toiletries for Flint Water Crisis victims. At the end of the month they’ll be taking the money and shopping for the most cost effective way to fill a van with goods and dropping it off to the Bethel United Methodist Church in Flint where they have a donation station for residents. The money won’t be going to some organization that has millions of dollars saved up, this is going directly to a cause where they know it will be taken care of. On top of supporting a great cause, the 3 songs on this ep are excellent! You’ll be seeing this ep on my best of the year list for sure!
You can name your own price for The Good That Never Comes at https://baggageband.bandcamp.com/ and I highly recommend paying at least a dollar or two for this record and giving back!
Imagine a project that features members of Deftones, Brand New, and Taking Back Sunday. That might give you a rough estimate of what Philadelphia’s Pray To Keep sounds like. The band recorded their debut ep with former Taking Back Sunday guitarist Fred Mascherino and he appears on the song Bitter Half. The band is almost clearly recognizably influenced by emo without falling into the emo revival genre completely. The band could almost fit among the radio hard rock ranks. Only, you know, enjoyable.
You can name your own price for the band’s self-titled ep at https://praytokeep.bandcamp.com/
Blind Lion is a band I’ve been a fan of for a while now. The Bridgewater, NJ outfit’s brand of emo simultaneously resembles each era of the genre seamlessly. Spring is the band’s third ep in what is a season based series of ep’s. (I expect Summer to be out in a month or two)
Spring gives us some of Blind Lions most aggressive songs yet. While Winter featured some upbeat numbers, songs like Odd and Grow showcase a different side of Blind Lion. I think Odd is the best song the band has written.Spring is also the most dynamic ep yet. For fans of American Football, Brand New,Cross My Heart, and Mineral. You can name your own price for Spring, and pick up Winter and Autumn, at https://blindlion.bandcamp.com/
Yesterday Washed Uo Emo had the premiere of Cambridge, UK emo outfit Grieving’s new single, “Brian Emo.” Washed Up Emo described the band as “for fans of Sunny Day Real Estate, Braid and Jawbreaker.” Sounds like a winner to me. Shortly after Washed Up Emo posted the song, the band uploaded the track to Bandcamp. In addition to that song, Grieving has a bunch of ep’s available on their Bandcamp page that you can name your own price for. I picked them all up yesterday and they have been the perfect Friday soundtrack.
You can snag Grieving’s discography at https://grievingband.bandcamp.com/
For fans of Deftones, Thrice, Hopesfall. That description on Vena Amoris’ Bandcamp page was a pretty quick hook for me. I instantly downloaded the record. The first song on the band’s new ep, Lucidity, is titled Eros, I assume it’s a shoutout to the Deftone’s album that may or may never see the light of day. Eros kicks in and sounds like it would’ve fit on any of the Deftones last couple of records. Heavy drums with a super spacey guitar and verbed out vocals. It is near perfect in it’s Deftones worship. The sound stays the same but veers from Deftones on the albums second track, Silver. Silver reminds me a ton of Magnetic North era Hopesfall (which I love!). The band never goes metal over the 4 songs but clearly operates in the realm of atmospheric hard rock.
You can name your own price for Lucidity at https://venaamorisuk.bandcamp.com/releases
Philadelphia has been something of a boom town for the emo revival. From the home grown bands to the talent moving here, Philly is hot right now! So I was super excited to stumble across Echo Lad. The 3 piece math/emo outfit is a cross between Don Caballero, Cap n Jazz, and Braid. Interesting start/stop rhythms, complex guitar lines that mix with beautiful melodies, Echo Lad’s self-titled full-length has a little bit of everything. Instrumental pieces that would fit perfectly in Don Cab’s discography to heavy hitting emo/twinkle songs that revival the best the genre has to offer right now. This record is one of the best albums I’ve heard this year!
You can check out Echo Lad’s record and pay what you want at https://echolad.bandcamp.com/album/echo-lad. And as always, if you dig the record, like the band’s Facebook page, go to a show, and show your support for great independent music.