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Miscellaneous New Album Review

“Pig City” by Pig City

Something within me *clicks* with Pig City’s newest release “Pig City”. It’s inspired me to deviate from the normal way I write my album reviews. I’ve done a few odd approaches the past couple months on album reviews, but I aim to make this one my strangest. 

Pig City is a queer hardcore crust band hailing from Arizona and releasing music through To Live A Lie Records right here in Raleigh. The album is definitely FCC explicit so cover your ears if you dislike curse words. This album was released on September 15, 2023.

Each track is followed by a block of text that relates to the subject matter and energy of the songs above it. It might help to listen to the music while you read if that is something you can do.

Track 1: “Modern Life I

We’ve made it easy to reduce things down to our specific little categories, but I feel critics have forgotten how to expand upon the meaning of a piece of worthy art. We shelve it away into musty cabinets on bookshelves becoming overladen with garbage. It makes your blood boil, doesn’t it? F*** your bookshelf. Break it. Burn it. Listen to this drum beat. Listen to these screams. Scream along with Pig City. “Where you gonna go?” (last line of “Modern Life I”).

Track 2: “Belly Of The Beast

I’m taking apart my room. Shred it. Piece by piece and examining every micrometer because I wanna find out why nothing is where it was supposed to be. Books were in places, but they didn’t fit there. Tear out the pages, glue them in different orders. Make it into the right kind of meaningful pattern. Burn this one, trash that one. Put them into place. 

Track 3: “Nuclear Wasted

On my roof now. It’s night. The cold gusts clip my ears and draws blood from my body. Drink a beer. Share it with critters running over numb legs. I can’t see my hands. Can’t feel them, but I see the moon and she calls out to take another sip and…

Track 4: “Bash Back

Awake. My head hurts. The world is upside down. It’s always been like this. Hasn’t it? Prolly gonna puke. My leg’s caught in the power line running from my house to the street. I’m hanging from the roof. Rip the leg free. Fall to the ground. It hurts, but not as much as my head. Spinning, standing and spinning. Beer can. It’s half full on the dirt covered sidewalk. I crush it under my boot. Metal succumbed to me. To my weight. I’m bigger than anything around me. I can do what I need to.

Track 5: “Dead On The Table

There’s a corpse rolled up the living room rug. Not gonna deal with that now. Bloated and blue – it’s not mine or anybody’s. Figment of the draining hangover. Not going to deal with it, I said. I want coffee. The strongest there is. All that acid and bitters draining from pot to cup to mouth and… now I can focus on the corpse in my living room. 

Track 6: “Modern Life II

You’d think this would fast track my day. A body in the living room. A hangover and falling from the roof. The day is slow. Nothing moves. Me, my coffee, a corpse. All of us act as if we’ve got all the time in the world to sit still. Sure, I’ve got work this morning. I’ll get there when I get there. Bossman can’t believe the things I’ve been through. Boss – Corpse. They are one in the same. A dead man whipping away at our backs to make us efficient. I finish my coffee and shower. 

Track 7: “Solitary Ideation

Hot showers are for suckers. Cold beams of water open eyes better than any coffee, Redbull or Monster Energy. In a shower, it’s just me and the droning of water against tub or against shower curtain or against body. A fshthh, kftdd, or bmbbmmm kind of sound, respectively. You can think up thousands of things in a shower. Like what to do with a body or how much effort I need to put into cleaning my destroyed room.

Thoughts wash away. It’s nice, empty isolation. Bare-nakedness keeps me raw and vulnerable to only myself. I’m not going to do a thing about the body, about my job, about my room. Leave it all as a masterpiece. Keep on living.

###

I know I didn’t actually talk about Pig City’s skills or literal sounds, but the point of this article was to explain their energy, effort, and artistry by using it as inspiration to create.

Categories
New Album Review

“Club Hits” by R.M.F.C. New Album

Rock Music Fan Club is a project originating from an Australian bedroom by an artist named Buz Clatworthy. Their most recent release, “Club Hits” was release on Nov 3, 2023. It is a full length album with a run-time of just under thirty minutes. 

In terms of sound, “Club Hits” spreads its noise into an array of folky-twang, punk, and egg punk all wrapped up in a nice warm pot with a bit of water and salt to let the flavors and sounds in this album come alive. 

Buz Clatworthy “writes, performs and records all of the groups output himself in his bedroom”, as it states on Discogs, and began in 2018 thanks to encouragement from a friend listening to Clatworthy’s demo. R.M.F.C (Rock Music Fan Club abbreviated) has played with notable egg punk bands like Snooper and Alien Nosejob when performing live in the past.

Without Further Ado: “Club Hits

Below is a snippet of some words and sentences that each of these songs inspired me to write while listening to the music. To me that is the best way to communicate the emotions and sounds that I feel when listening to an album. 

Spectrum

The short snippets of punk and classic rock n’ roll guitar fuses together to create a wonderful playful hybrid of sounds that aren’t corny or uptight. It’s like Goldilocks says, “It’s just right”. 

The Trap

I don’t have too many flowery words for this track. I just like it. Simple as that. 

Access

Reminds me of a tame folky version of Sick Thoughts’ music they’ve been releasing recently; for example, “Hole in the Wall”. The jerky vocals put me on edge, but again the guitar quells my nerves and reassures me. 

Frogs

Like a walk in the hours after the rain has subsided in a quiet suburban night, this track puts my head at ease. The very relaxing rhythms and background noise is pleasant and delightful to my ears that usually want a harsh scream to take up residence. 

Conclusion

The rest of the album that I haven’t mentioned, is of course wonderful and each song deserves its own praises here, but that’s not feasible for me to write for a blog. This is a taste of “Club Hits”. I hope I’ve whetted y’all’s appetite, and if you decide to check out R.M.F.C.’s newest album, prepare to enjoy a delightful meal for your ears.

Categories
New Album Review

Fall 2023: What’s New in Afterhours?

Fall, as it turns out, has been really good for music. Here at WKNC, we’ve been scouring those releases for what’s been the best, and then adding it because we know and understand that you, the masses, want nothing more than the best niche music. Here’s what we’ve found in the electronic sphere lately.

Categories
New Album Review

Screaming Females “Desire Pathway” Album Review

Screaming Females is one of my favorite rock bands hailing from the United States. They’ve been releasing consistent, good records since their first release, “Baby Teeth”,  in 2006. Screaming Females might not fit into the hardcore punk or punk genre all the time, but the band’s ability to stay true to what makes their sound unique and constantly entertaining is what keeps me listening.

The band is composed of Marissa Paternoster (vocals and guitar), Jarrett Doughtery (drums) and Mike Abbate (bass). They made their first appearance as a band in New Brunswick, NJ (according to Wikipedia). Screaming Females is currently releasing their records on the Don Giovann Record label. 

In terms of genre, they have floated around from album to album, but for the most part I’d say they stay true to the rock genre with heavy punk and indie influences. Paternoster’s lyrics and vocals are extremely punk that tend to talk about being displaced and having realistic perspectives on relationships and life. 

Some of their previous releases include “Baby Teeth”, self-released album in 2006, Ugly in 2012 and “Rose Mountain” in 2015. They have many more albums in their discography but these are the ones that keep me coming back and listening to their music. 

Desire Pathway

Brass Bell

The opening to this album is sublime. Paternoster’s infatuating guitar is backed up by heart-thumping bass and drums leading us to explosive riffs and vocals. 

Ornament

This track is a beauty because of how much Paternoster shreds her guitar. Doughtery’s drums create an awesome thump-thump-thump building us to another explosive chorus trying to get everything it can out of love. 

Let Me Into Your Heart

Opening drums and then Paternoster’s iconic vocals dive into the topic of trust and trying to win someone’s heart and soul. The lyric choices in this track make me love it because of the uniqueness in word choice and how descriptive and pleading the song becomes because of the lyrics. 

I absolutely love this band. The catchy lyrics and rhythms in this album are intoxicating, but also I can tell how much previous albums like “Ugly” and “Rose Mountain” success have positively influenced the sound. I find a lot of the choruses to be at the perfect repetitive level and all the lyrics (as always for Screaming Females) are full of double meanings and exactness.

If you’ve never taken time to listen to Screaming Females, I highly suggest you do because this band will be one of the greats, if it isn’t already.

Categories
New Album Review

New Releases: Tears For the Dying, Modern Color and Buzz Kull

Music-makers have been hard at work putting out new music, and I”ve been hard at work listening to it.

Here are some highlights from this month:

Tears For the Dying

Based in Athens, Georgia, Tears for the Dying produces music in the vein of deathrock, post-punk and dark punk.

With a corpse-cold sound and the richly plaintive vocals of Adria Stembridge at their disposal, Tears For the Dying puts out consistent bangers.

The band’s latest release, “Heterochromia,” is straight up arctic.

Cover for “Heterochromia” by Tears for the Dying

Compared to other releases, the band’s deathrock style appears restrained, creating a vacuous and frigid atmosphere. The song’s lyrics only compound this effect.

I’ll rip you apart from everything you love

Slithering from beneath black waters

The rotting carcass splits and sprouts

Fertile ground of rot and death

Efflorescence of drifting mist

Tears for the Dying, “Heterochromia”

What is the driving force behind such tortured and melancholic lyrics?

Adria Stembridge, frontwoman and founder of the band, draws inspiration from her experience growing up trans and autistic in the American south.

Subjugation, alienation and victimization — and the inner darkness stemming from these influences — contribute to the band’s vivid sound.

While this isn’t my favorite song by the band (that award belongs to “Go Die” from their 2021 album “Epitaph“), it’s a solid track.

Modern Color

Modern Color is a beloved band of mine.

Their sound ranges from nostalgic and idyllic shoegaze to vigorous post-hardcore, and I look forward to seeing them when they make their way to Cat’s Cradle next month.

Cover for “Fortress” by Modern Color

Modern Color’s newest single, “Fortress,” definitely embodies more of the band’s emo and shoegaze sound. It’s a warm and summery track with more upbeat energy than some of the band’s other releases, such as “Pale.”

I definitely prefer the band’s earlier music, especially their 2020 album “From The Leaves of Your Garden,” and hope they continue to experiment with the post-hardcore aspect of their style.

Buzz Kull

Buzz Kull is the musical project of Sydney-based artist Marc Dwyer.

I’ve played Buzz Kull on air several times before. His sprawling darkwave and EBM beats are transfixing.

Cover for “A Place (That’s Meant To Be)” by Buzz Kull

There’s an attractive bluntness to his work, a gothic apathy that commands focus to a more emotional and complex synth and drum machine arrangement.

Buzz Kull’s most recent single, “A Place (That’s Meant To Be),” is strongly electronic. Highly danceable, this EBM track is both fast-moving and languid, with staccato beats overlaid by ringing tones of brass.

It’s the kind of music you can lose yourself in on the dancefloor, best enjoyed amid the smoke-scented bustle of the goth club.

Categories
New Album Review

Corker’s “Falser Truths” Album Review

Out of the abyss of the midwestern United States called Ohio comes Corker with their first full length release, “Falser Truths”. This new punk band has all the classic 80’s punk sounds you could feverishly desire. With sounds influenced by The Clash, The Cure, Wipers and more, Corker brings us fresh perspective with great ingenuity in this album. 

Cincinnati, Ohio natives, Corker, released “Falser Truths” on Sep 1, 2023, which was recorded through Future Shock Recordings, a Cincinnati based record company. Members of the band include: Luke Corvette (Lead Vocals, Guitar), Cole Gilfilen (Guitar, Synth, Vocals), Ryan Sennett (Bass, Synth) and Alex Easterday (Drums, Percussion).

“Falser Truths” is Corker’s first full-length release, but their second major release overall. They debuted with “A Bell That Seems to Mourn”, an EP, in 2021 (also on Future Shock Recordings). This EP was said to have met popularity (on their Bandcamp page). 

Sounds of “Falser Truths”:

The Cold Air

A breeze chills your lower back and opens up your senses to the incoming new experiences. This track opens “Falser Truths” beautifully. I think it does a great job of introducing us to the potential of Corker’s sounds and what we are to experience through their perspectives of punk-rock.

Lice

A little bit of an up tempo track compared to “The Cold Air” with a strong drum beat and jolty vocals with a speedy guitar. “Lice” isn’t what I’d call hardcore punk, but it’s a step in that direction. This track does feel like a good one to dance to at a concert though. 

A Fitting Compensation

Moodier tunes flow in from the West, East and all over. “A Fitting Compensation” brings us some of the darker, slower sounds through the intro instrumentals. Then, we are very lucky to experience some classic heart-stopping punk vocals and lyricism with a “brain eating” desire woven in. 

Sour Candy

With the air of a long good-bye, “Sour Candy” is the best final track I could hope for on a release like this. It is seven minutes long, making it the lengthiest track on the album. There’s a whole lot of diversity in sound on this album, and with this track, Corker is able to finish showing off their range. A little spoken word with catchy beats to back it up begins this track on a low-key note, but builds and builds into a rhythmic delight that I loved for every second.

Final Thoughts about “Falser Truths”

Hey, these are pretty fun. Corker is able to show off their talent range within the punk genre, and they show off a little bit of their history knowledge in punk with their sound variations too. “Falser Truths” takes us on a journey of beginnings and histories within the whole thirty-five minutes of the album. I enjoyed hearing this perspective of punk from Corker and I hope to be hearing more from them in the future.

Categories
Band/Artist Profile Local Music New Album Review

“The Magpie”: More of Raleigh’s Finest

Raleigh natives, The Magpie, released their first studio album this year through Firelight Records. We are taken on a ride through the band’s love of psychedelic rock, hardcore punk and everything hard rock n’ roll.

This album is yet another of Raleigh’s newest additions to the scene of heavy rock and metal (although a little on the lighter side of metal), so that’s why I’m taking a look at it today. 

The Magpie is composed of three band members: Erik Sugg (guitar and vocals), Brian Walsby (drums) and Mike Deloatch (bass and vocals). “The Magpie” (according to their Bandcamp page) was recorded and engineered by Mike Dean, a member of Corrosion of Conformity – another NC band, who is a metal staple with loads of influence.

Never judge a book by its cover or whatever that stupid cliche is supposed to signify, but I love the album art for this album. The art style clicked when I was looking for a local band to write about this week. The magpie perched a top the skull feels spooky and very autumn-y.

Let’s dive into The Magpie’s first album – “The Magpie”:

Ceremony for a Fat Lip

It’s the second track of the album and we already get Metallica-like vocals as emphasis behind Sugg’s warbling calls. “Ceremony for a Fat Lip” is a great blend of heavy rock guitar and drums with a more psychedelic rock vocal base reminiscent of Ween’s “The Mollusk” (to me at least).

Just One Drop

A slower start in this track, leads to classic rock n’ roll sounds emanating from The Magpie here. “Just One Drop” explores the mind in a fever dream state. After the first couple verses, Sugg begins repeating the chorus in a sickening repetitive pattern that leaves you questioning your senses for a minute. This track drips slowly into your system, filling you with hallucinogenic effects that don’t start infecting you until the last minute of the song. 

Derailed

The shortest song on the album starts off with a similar guitar intro to the rest of the tracks, but then blazes off course immediately. There are a few non FCC approved words in the song, but that’s because of its heavy punk influence. “Derailed” differs wildly from the rest of the album because of the vocal change-up into hardcore screams. I really enjoy The Magpie’s take on hardcore punk, and I’d love to hear a whole album like this from them soon. 

Fix It

A nice hint of vocal warbles and smooth guitar riffs bring forth sounds from The Magpie. It really shows their psychedelic rock sound spewing out. This track got more repeated lyrics than any on the rest of the track, but when Sugg belts out, “fix it”, I can’t help but rock my head forward to the beat.

Conclusions:

I thoroughly enjoyed this album. The Magpie did a wonderful job using their experiences from past bands and sounds to create a first album with such a wild ride like this. I hope to be able to catch a live show from them in the future. I know they frequent Pour House and other Raleigh venues, so if you’re from the area, be searching for The Magpie.

Categories
New Album Review

Album Review: “Remote Echoes” by Duster

I’m sure it was a pleasant surprise for many Duster fans waking up this past Friday morning to a new album on streaming services. “Remote Echoes” was more or less an unexpected release as the band made no announcement on any media platforms about its existence nor it’s release date being Sep. 29.

However, this album could be considered more of a compilation album as many of the tracks featured on this release are demos and come from past limited records such as “Christmas Dust” and “On the Dodge” as well as some unreleased tracks unheard of before until now.

So unfortunately, no new recordings were released on this album but I am still happy about its release and hold hope for new recordings in the near future.

I really feel that many avid listeners and especially longtime Duster fans will enjoy this release as many of the songs on this album were recorded during their earlier days and are now finally on streaming services.

The band’s label, The Numero Group, describes this release on their website as:

“Remote Echoes is a hissy, crumbly, and ungrounded expression of Clay Parton and Canaan Amber’s ongoing Duster project.”

-The Numero Group

Favorite tracks

Some of my personal favorite tracks from this release have got to be:

Final thoughts

As far as a rating goes, I personally don’t like to rate music on a number scale. Although, I heavily recommend a listen for this release if you’re into early Duster works such as “Contemporary Movement” and “1975” as well as a more fuzzy and muffled sound in general.

I, for one, am very pleased with this very early present from Duster and ever since going to one of their shows back in April at Cat’s Cradle, I’ve appreciated the fact that they still tour and have produced new music in recent years. I also hope that this release serves as an omen for future albums to come with new recordings.

-MJ :p

Categories
New Album Review

Album Review: “Girls Love Jungle” by gum.mp3 & Dazegxd

Listen, I know. Every other electronic release has breaks and a Y2K aesthetic these days. I understand if you’re looking for something else. However, this is also why I need you to believe me when I say that this album is, in fact, really good. 

“Girls Love Jungle” is a collaborative album between North Carolina-based artist gum.mp3 and the New York City-based Dazegxd. Over its 31 minutes, the two fuse the style of both 90’s and modern electronic to create something that’s ultimately unique. 

The first three tracks best showcase this combination to me. Opener “Mania” leans more on the modern end, with the most obvious example being the prominent crash-police-siren sample that’s now irreparably linked to the very recent genre of hyperflip.

It’s then followed by “Bad 4 Us,” which has a higher focus on the smooth keyboards and vocal samples common to older jungle, but its production style is still unmistakably modern.

The last of this opening run is “Imitator,” which strips back the production to focus almost entirely on the breaks and a handful of sampled instruments, and the result feels timeless. 

The rest of the album continues playing with these ideas of new and old, and eventually ends on the duo each doing a solo track. Dazegxd’s, “Don’t You See,” is probably my favorite song on “Girls Love Jungle,” which is also a statement that makes me feel like I’m abandoning my local artists. The track focuses on its main vocal sample for most of its run, then turns into complex breaks that scratch an itch I didn’t realize I had for its last third.

gum.mp3’s solo track, “Mind Reader,” takes the opposite, moodier approach. It’s much steadier, and its vocals are front and center when compared to most of the other tracks on the album. It’s an interesting way to close out the album, but I’m ultimately glad for it.

Overall, “Girls Love Jungle” is a great addition to the ever-expanding list of modern albums influenced by the past, and especially another to the list of (in this case, partially) local electronic. Both Dazegxd and gum.mp3 have a lot of potential, and I’m excited for their futures.

-chalcopyrite

Categories
Music News and Interviews New Album Review

9/15 – What’s New In Afterhours?

There is just too much music on WKNC. This is especially true of electronic music. Luckily, I’m one of the people who are putting in the automated music queue for Afterhours, so I can tell you what I like to help you sort through it. Here are a few of those that are recent additions to the WKNC rotation.