Weekly Roundup: March 13th
Featuring Closure In Moscow, Bad Blood, Hot Mulligan, and more.
A curated selection of cool shit for you to listen to.
Closure In Moscow – “Better Way”
Melbourne/Naarm prog pop-rockers Closure In Moscow are back with their first album in nearly a decade. Soft Hell is scheduled for digital release on June 8th and features a further maturation of their art rock meets post-hxc sound, walking the fine line between challenging and intricate but also catchy and immediate—like Swancore without the *ahem* baggage. In a press release, the band states:
“We’ve put blood, sweat and years into this and fully believe when you hear these tracks, the wait will have been worth it… Getting comfortable with chronic discomfort caused by the choices that fears and trauma lead you to make. This is life in a Soft Hell.”
Watch the video for “Better Way” below:
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Bad Blood – The Bad Kind Decides
This is a new project from hardcore all-star and stage-dive aficionado Scott Vogel (of Terror & Buried Alive fame). It’s called Bad Blood—not to be confused with the Sydney outfit and Resist Records alumni from the mid-00s—and features members of acts like Violent Way and Exhibition. The band’s debut EP, The Bad Kind Decides, is set for release on March 31st through Flatspot Records, and it’s a hard-hitting throwback to 80s hardcore staples like Warzone and Brotherhood. According to Vogel, the EP is “No nonsense hardcore with a punch and a pulse.” Stream the EP’s pre-release singles here (Bandcamp/Spotify).
Stasis – “Finding Solace in the Black”
I came across this next band thanks to their label, No Sleep Records, who were teasing their latest single. That group is Canadian melodic hardcore outfit Stasis, who have dropped this new single as the first taste of their as-yet-untitled full-length. Musically, they fuse a whole spectrum of heavy sounds and textures, pulling from acts like Poison The Well and Modern Life Is War to Underoath and Counterparts. If you enjoy your heavy with a dash of melody and an earnest emotional core, this is for you. Listen to “Finding Solace in the Black” here.
Chain of Flowers – Never Ending Space
Welsh sextet Chain Of Flowers are making a return with their sophomore full-length, titled Never Ending Space, and it’s out on May 26th through ALTER. The album was recorded with producer and Fucked Up Drummer Jonah Falco (who also produced that brilliant new Home Front record), and it represents a more maximal take on the group’s reverb-heavy post-punk sound, flirting with trumpets, saxophone, synth, percussion boxes, and spoken word. Stream the LP’s pre-release singles here (Bandcamp/Spotify).
Hot Mulligan – “Shhhh! Golf Is On”
Noodly emo/pop punk sad boys Hot Mulligan are finally dropping their new record and follow-up to 2020’s acclaimed you’ll be fine. Why Would I Watch comes out on May 12th via Wax Bodega and was produced by longtime collaborator Brett Romnes (of I Am the Avalanche). On the lyrical inspiration behind the album’s lead single, vocalist Tades Sanville says the track “is about my mom. I’m asking her to die. Every time I hear about her, she’s a worse person than before.” How good is family? Listen to “Shhhh! Golf Is On” here.
Electric Chair – Act of Aggression
Another new band on my radar is the American outfit Electric Chair from the Pacific Northwest. Their upcoming LP, Act Of Aggression, is coming out on March 31st through Iron Lung Records. Not much else to say about this one: it’s high-energy, it’s full-throttle, and it’s hardcore punk with absolutely zero bullshit. Think relentless tempos and frantic, maniacal vocals with plenty of attitude. Stream the LP’s pre-release singles here (Bandcamp/Spotify).
James and the Cold Gun – “My Silhouette”
This group has been getting significant buzz in the UK music press for a while now. They’re Cardiff rock act James and the Cold Gun, and the quintet specialise in a slick and polished take on the late 90s/early 00s confluence of alt Rock, post-punk, and garage. If you appreciate everything from Interpol and Bloc Party to Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes, then this will likely give you that familiar dopamine rush. They also take their namesake from a Kate Bush song, so there’s some 80s love in the mix there, too. Their debut self-titled debut album drops on July 28th via Loosegroove Records. Check out the clip for “My Silhouette” below:
Common Wounds – S/T
Arizona noise merchants Common Wounds dropped their self-titled debut EP last week through Protagonist Music, and it blends “post-hardcore heart and noise-rock heft” with tracks “that are as poignant as they are bruising.” I love this EP: it’s angular and gritty but still has these curious melodies and deceptively hooky vocal refrains hidden among the sonic rubble. The EP’s press release notes that the group are “possessed by the fire of the original post-hardcore greats and bolstered by the muscle of noise-rock” with “reference points [including] Rites of Spring, Unwound, and Helmet.” Stream the EP in full here (Bandcamp/Spotify).
Listen to all these tracks and more on the TPD 2023 CUTS playlist, updated weekly.
A closer, more in-depth look at a new record that ticks all my boxes.
Manchester Orchestra – The Valley of Vision
On their latest EP, The Valley of Vision, Atlanta-based rockers Manchester Orchestra descend even further into the sonic depths of melancholic introspection. 2021’s The Million Masks of God LP dropped right in the middle of the pandemic, and I quite enjoyed that record’s existential wrangling, and this six-track EP feels like a continuation of that thematic pursuit. It’s more subdued and restrained, pulling right back on compositional elements and foregrounding frontman Andy Hull’s delicate vocals and heady lyricism.
Standout track “The Way” features a lethargic beat and swirling melody, accented by a descending piano motif and hypnotic rhyming construction from Hull that bores deep into my mind with each repeat listen:
“I think I'm losing the line/
The altar is inaudible/
Dense and pathological/
When you run out of time/
The soul becomes synodical/
The weight is now phenomenal/
And deafening again.”
Stream here: Bandcamp | Spotify
On our latest guest episode of The Pitch pod, I had a great chat with FIDLAR frontman, producer, and So-Cal party-starter Zac Carper. The band are heading Down Under in the next few weeks for a national headline run and a festival date in Brisbane, so Zac joined the show for a gnarly Hit List session, taking us through his favourite punk, indie, and rap picks with a few metal ragers and 80s classics thrown in for good measure. Check it out: