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Weekly Roundup: March 27th
Featuring Spirit Adrift, Terminal Sleep, Holy Figures, and more.
A curated selection of cool shit for you to listen to.
Picturesque – “Strange Habits”
First up is the new track from Kentucky-based quintet Picturesque. The group’s latest single is “Strange Habits,” and it features on their newly announced six-track EP IYKYK, coming out on April 21st through Equal Vision Records. The quartet peddle a very cinematic and polished version of post-hardcore, aided by the strong performance of lead singer and creative mastermind Kyle Hollis. This is also the band’s first new material since dropping their critically acclaimed 2020 sophomore LP Do You Feel O.K? Watch the video for “Strange Habits” below:
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Thy Art Is Murder / Fit For An Autopsy / Malevolence – The Aggression Sessions
Back in the Before Time of 2016, three world-class extreme metal acts—Thy Art Is Murder, Fit For An Autopsy & The Acacia Strain—put out a six-song, three-way split mini album, The Depression Sessions, including one original and cover song from each act. I enjoyed this release very much, and I’m now super excited to hear its follow-up and spiritual successor, The Aggression Sessions. This release also has Malevolence switching out for The Acacia Strain, and, alongside TAIM covering Cannibal Corpse and FFAA covering At The Gates, the UK heavy hitters are covering the bonafide karaoke classic “Left Outside Alone” by Anastacia. Incredible stuff. Stream the EP’s pre-release singles here (Bandcamp/Spotify).
Smooth Brain – “No Pressure”
Shout out to Ben from New York pop-punkers Smooth Brain for shooting this one over. The group have self-released their new single, “No Pressure,” and according to vocalist Izzy Gunn, the track is about “feeling that ultimate level of comfort and happiness in any relationship, whether it be best friends or lovers.” It’s a fun and upbeat cut that was also produced, mixed, and mastered by Hansel Romero, who is the frontperson and producer for Baltimore soul-punk outfit nightlife. (They’re also great—check them out!) Listen to “No Pressure” here.
Tiny Voices – Make Up Your Place
Wisconsin emo rockers Tiny Voices have a new EP titled Make Up Your Place, coming out through Thumbs Up Records on April 20th. You might remember that name from several weeks ago, as their label roster also features the impeccably named Guitar Fight from Fooly Cooly. I feel that this new EP represents real sonic growth for Tiny Voices: it refines their sound and retains their essence with increased dynamics, stronger hooks and a light nostalgic touch. Stream the EP’s pre-release singles here (Bandcamp/Spotify).
Spirit Adrift – “Death Won’t Stop Me”
It’s been a few hard years, but we’re finally getting a new studio album from US heavy metallers Spirit Adrift, the long-time project of riff-lord Nate Garrett. The record is titled Ghost At The Gallows and is due out on August 18th through Century Media. (As it turns out, I was right about the lettering schema here—longtime readers know what’s up.) According to Garrett, the album’s primary themes revolve around grief and loss, with the sonic influence of “Hendrix, Black Sabbath, Metallica, Slayer and also growing up in the South, really loving old sincere country music, bluegrass and stuff like that” remaining the soul of the band. Listen to “Death Won’t Stop Me” here.
covet – catharsis
San Fran—Bay Area instrumental trio covet are dropping their third studio album, catharsis, courtesy of Triple Crown Records on April 7th. Describing the record's second single, lead guitarist Yvette Young says:
“This one is the album closer. The closest feeling I get to falling in love is when I write and play music, and this song is a tribute to that feeling of being totally smitten by the joy of creating and feeling things deeply. It was important to me to leave everyone on a high note (in this case, a saxophone solo provided by the amazing Alex Rose from Minus the Bear).”
This is one for fans of technical and uplifting instrumental post-rock—think of acts like Plini or Cloudkicker, and that's the sonic wheelhouse here. Stream the LP’s pre-release singles here (Bandcamp/Spotify).
Terminal Sleep – “Elicit Fear”
God damn. This new cut from Naarm/Melbourne bruisers Terminal Sleep is an absolute sledgehammer. It’s called "Elicit Fear,” and it’s easily their heaviest, most pissed-off track yet. Four minutes of relentless, clench-fisted metallic hardcore packed full of venom and vitriol. With knockout sets supporting internationals like Comeback Kid and Knocked Loose, it’s already been a busy year for the group, and I definitely get that “big things coming soon” vibe. Check out the video for “Elicit Fear” below:
Holy Figures – New Superstitions
This is a new band from North Carolina on my radar. They’re called Holy Figures, and they’ve got a great new EP titled New Superstitions out through the good folks over at New Morality Zine. This release features two new tracks alongside a cover of the classic Jawbox track “Savory.” Musically, the quartet split the difference between the 90s/00s sound and approach, blending the harmony and the heavy for emotional post-hardcore. In a recent interview with No Echo, vocalist, guitarist & bassist Owen Smith (great name) said: “We wanted to keep everything very rhythmic and then lay down the droning vocals. We are just trying to make music that invites people into the groove.” 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.
Fall Out Boy – So Much (For) Stardust
Okay. Here’s the thing: I feel about legacy pop-punkers Fall Out Boy in the 00s as I do about Metallica in the 80s or Adam Sandler in the 90s. I know that these artists kept working for subsequent decades, but I personally do not need what they produced. I get everything that I, subjectively, need from them in that singular decade. And I don’t think I’m alone in this opinion.
All of this is to say that I didn’t necessarily need the group’s eighth studio album, So Much (For) Stardust, to be some big swing comeback record. Thankfully, however, in an act of extremely on-brand, meta-textual self-awareness, the Illinois quartet address people like me directly with their latest single and video for the record’s fun and funky third track, “Hold Me Like a Grudge”:
In a recent interview with NME, frontman and guitarist Patrick Stump states: “I wanted to imagine what it would have sounded like if we had made a record right after Folie à Deux instead of taking a break for a few years. It was like exploring the multiverse.” This is, to me, an accurate assessment of the album’s best tracks.
“Hold Me Like a Grudge” and “What a Time To Be Alive” harness a fun, swaggering energy that leans on soul, funk and disco influences with a Timberlake-like strut. And honestly, folks, if Fall Out Boy had gone down this path in the 2010s instead of venturing into the EDM meets Maroon 5 landfill pop that dominated their post-hiatus career, then I think we’d all be better off.
On the latest Pitch pod episode, writer Bill Peel joined the show to kick off a new segment and discuss his upcoming book, Tonight It’s a World We Bury. Bill argues for the radical left-wing potential of black metal as a sonic and philosophical tool as we run through a broad selection of artists and tracks referenced across each chapter. Check it out below: