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/
The Meltdown – The Meltdown 3.88
This week I’m highlighting Topshelf Records discography.
Emo post rockers Prawn have announced their third full-length, Run. Run will hit shelves on September 22nd via Topshelf Records. You can pre-order Run at http://www.topshelfrecords.com/products/596592-prawn-run. In addition to that announcement, NPR Music is streaming North Lynx, the first single from Run. You can listen to North Lynx at http://www.npr.org/2017/08/09/542076045/prawns-north-lynx-sounds-like-an-elephant-stampede?utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=nprmusic&utm_term=music&utm_content=20170809
Prawn has released a video teaser for their upcoming full-length record. The follow-up to 2014’s Kingfisher will be out this fall via Topshelf Records. You can watch the teaser below.
Ratboys new record, GN (Good night), will hit stores this Friday, June 30th. But the band is offering a stream of the record on their website. You can give GN a spin at http://www.ratboysband.com/
You can still pre-order GN at http://www.topshelfrecords.com/products/590362-ratboys-gn
“What a way to say fuck off.”
It’s more than the first line of the first song on Field Mouse’s stellar new record, Episodic. It’s almost like a statement from the band. The Mirror might actually be quite disarming to longtime fans of the band and their shoegaze sound. The upbeat, hella catchy dance number is almost a challenge to the hipsters to try and not enjoy themselves. It’s also anthemic! It’s an easy line to attach yourself to and I imagine it will be shouted by audiences at the band’s upcoming shows. Aside from the opening line of the record, The Mirror is a fun song. It gets me dancing every time. Rachel Browne’s vocals remind me of Jenny Lewis and the Mirror sounds like what I always wished Rilo Kiley sounded like. It’s the perfect album opener.
And yes, Field Mouse puts their best foot forward with The Mirror. But they follow it up with step after step of great song after great song. I’ve seen people comment that the album still nods at their shoegaze past, but to my ears, Field Mouse has moved past that sound. The fuzzed out guitars punctuate the bands indie pop choruses. Take the track A Widow With A Terrible Secret. The verse is a jaunty light pop track until the guitars fully kick in on the chorus and the song explodes into a power pop ballad. Sure the guitars have an almost shoegaze airy quality to them but to label it as shoegaze almost robs the track of it’s power.
Half-life follows The Mirror. It’s got a great synth line on the verse that helps give the verse a club vibe before the band rips into the chorus. Power pop is the name of the game! The Order of Sings is a beautifully clean indie pop song.
Browne’s vocals soar through the dynamic and melodic changes on Beacon, becoming the star of the track. Beacon seamlessly transitions into Over and Out, which is all sorts of sugary pop goodness. On the surface, the song sounds simple, but put on a pair of headphones and you pick up small riffs flying in and out or a moment of feedback that highlights a moment in the song. Do You Believe Me Now is a fantastic, straight forward rock and roll song that has a chorus that reminds me of mid-90’s post grunge rock. Out Of Context closes the record with some Sonic Youth esque feedback as the track slowly unwinds and brings Episodic to an end.
There are no flaws on Episodic. From upbeat pop tunes to dark indie rock songs that give the band “street cred”, Field Mouse has crafted an album full of brilliant songs. Perfect start to finish and very easily jumped to the top of my Album of the Year list. 5 out of 5 Stars!
Dowsing will release their new split 7″ with Ratboys on September 9th via Topshelf Records. Today the band has premiered the first track on that split. The song is called Hold and you can give it a spin over at DIY Magazine. http://diymag.com/2016/08/15/dowsing-track-premiere-topshelf-records
Don’t forget you can pre-order that 7″ now at http://www.topshelfrecords.com/products/575718-ratboys-dowsing-split
Chicago’s Dowsing and Ratboys will be releasing a split ep on September 9th via Topshelf Records. You can pre-order the split on vinyl and digitally at http://www.topshelfrecords.com/products/575718. A cassette version will eventually be available for pre-order from Community Records (http://communityrecords.org/)
NPR Music is currently streaming the first single, The Mirror, from Field Mouse’s new record Episodic. Episodic will hit shelves on August 5th via Topshelf Records. You can listen to The Mirror at http://www.npr.org/2016/06/02/479636188/songs-we-love-field-mouse-the-mirror?utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=nprmusic&utm_term=music&utm_content=20160602