Local Music New Album Review

Moldy Pear Records’ Food Drive Compilation

Welcome all ye foodies and music enjoyers. Today’s special presentation of things to feast on includes helping out folks that don’t have the capability to get the amount of food they need in their lives.

A fundraiser by Moldy Pear Records (located in Hickory, NC) is taking the initiative to raise money for Feeding America by donating ALL profits from their skramz, punk and indie compilation to this organization. 

Feeding America fights for more legislature and policies regarding food insecurity programs, adds to food banks and meal programs, and is trying to root out the cause for food insecurity in America. They are big proponents of stopping food waste in homes and the food industry by teaching and becoming a collector of food going uneaten and unsold. 

If you didn’t know already, food waste in America is an atrocious issue leading to large amounts of food in landfills (the US government estimates food as taking up 24% of landfill space in their Methane Emissions Reduction Program). Hopefully, programs like Feeding America or Food Not Bombs can help people begin to understand the issue with food consumption in the US (and in the world). 

Of course we’re here to review a little music, but the most important part of this article is to get some of this stuff into the light. I love food and there’s a lot that needs to be done in the world with the way we have decided to consume. 

“Creamy Peanut Butter” by Obscured Wingtip Memoir

This song is so damn painful to listen to. I love that it is the opening doom for this compilation album, and then everything else is much kinder and warmer afterwards. The head thumping chaos fuels me to smile as I get to enjoy this pain as loud as I can tolerate. 

“Table Salt” by Sickle Eater

This reminds me of My Bloody Valentine being mixed with a little post punk. It’s a nice shoegaze feel but still independent in its blood and sound. 

“Condensed Tomato Soup” by Girl Goes to Greenland

I love the slow build in this track. It’s a really calm and simple luxury that gets heavier and deeper as we approach the middle section of the song. The raspy crying vocals grasp for air. It’s a neat song with tons of heart in it. 

“Granulated Sugar” by Snail Trails

This feels like a classic mix of country and punk and the beat of pop-punk. It’s a great little track with the skramz screams and emotion just trying to escape the vocalist. Thank you Snail Trails for this beauty. 

Notable mention to “Hamburger Helper” by Sometimelastyear

Another painful track. It kills me a little more every time I listen to it. I can’t put the horror into words, but it’s definitely worth a listen. 

There’s tons of interesting music on this compilation. I find it very noble to try and raise money this way. If you’re inclined to help donate to Feeding America and potentially discover some new tracks and bands from Hickory, NC, then drop some money to donate for this album. 

Concert Preview Local Music

March and April Live Music in the Triangle

Hello all. As the new year is slowly settling into place, I wanted to take a minute and assure you, the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area has all around tons of music all around us for these next few months.

Here’s a little preview of some shows you can see and where you can see them…


Starting with this upcoming week (March 3 – 9), there are a bunch of opportunities to witness amazing live music at The Pour House like Goetia, Pathogenesis and Noctomb playing some metal on March 3. Also, there’s a bluegrass performance on March 7 with ShadowGrass. On March 29 there’s a grunge cover night with Pearl Jam and Soundgarden cover bands. All this and more is on The Pour House’s website.

Slims also has tons of metal oriented and head banging bands playing throughout these next couple of months, like Auroras Hope playing on April 5 and a plethora of bands playing April 25.

At Kings there’s awesome bands like Weymouth, Frost Children and Small Crush peppering their calendar.

So just in the Raleigh area, we have tons of access to musical greatness.


Durham has tons of wonderful venues like the Pinhook, which is featuring one of my favorite Philly bands, Washer, on March 11 followed by Cowgirl Clue on March 12. That’s two amazing nights of completely different tunes.

Also in Durham is The Fruit with a great head-banging lineup for March 29. A few of the bands performing will be Sevyrnce, Spunge and Lil Space Cat.

The one performance I wish I’d seen coming sooner at Motorco Music Hall is Mannequin Pussy and Soul Glo playing together on April 7, but unfortunately tickets are sold out on the website. They’ve also got tons of varying genres popping in and out throughout these next few months.

Chapel Hill

Good ol’ Chapel Hill has metal and thrashing central at Local 506. There’s a boatload of beautiful sounding band names filling my eyes as I peer through the never ending list. Most notable is Teen Mortgage on April 6, Sarah and the Sundays (not metal fyi) on April 12 and Spew on March 13.

Of course there’s the beloved Cat’s Cradle venue too, which is hosting: Guster on March 20, Unwound on March 22, Otoboke Beaver on March 26, The Postal Service & Death Cab for Cutie on April 27 at Coastal Credit Union and finally Black Country, New Road also on April 27 but at the cat’s Cradle Venue.

I hope you all find some bands or some resources to go out and support beautiful artists touring our neck of the woods in these next few months.

Local Music New Album Review

Fresh Cold Cream from Carrboro

Surfacing form the deep depths of Carrboro, NC is Cold Cream with their newest addition to the music world, “Cold Cream II”. As a psych-punk band, these folks have all the sounds you could desire: catchy vocals and beats; screaming; grounded, realistic lyrics.

In terms of members, Cold Cream claims “exes of Pipe, Superchunk, Bat Fangs, Flesh Wounds, Spider Bags, and Entez Vous” to be a part of this band (as stated on their Bandcamp bio). The band has Clark Blomquist (drums, synth), Laura King (bass), Ron Liberti (guitar) and Mara Thomas (vocals).

Cold Cream II

Cold Cream released the album on February 1, 2024, and it features eight tracks with a run time of about thirteen minutes. FCC warning: there are curse words and foul language in a few of the tracks on this album.

Cactus Wife

Alrighty I picked three songs to dive into a little bit. “Cactus Wife” has the most classic punk and indie rock vibe to it. It’s a pleasant reminder of other NC bands like Archers of Loaf that have been ruling and inspiring artists for over thirty years. “Decorate the World” also a similar upbeat punk rhythm to it if you enjoyed this track.


Here, we are able to find the most psychedelic inspired track on this album. The wavy reverbed vocals sink in like teeth into an ice-cream bar. It’s not pleasant for some, but I love it. The heavy drums have a rainy pitter-patter meant to keep your feet movin’.


A lovely title has to have a lovely sound, right? This track slams and thrashes the most (in comparison to the other tunes on this album).

Last Bite

As I’ve been writing these articles and posts for the last few months about NC music, I keep finding more hope and new bands to latch onto. I grew up being jealous of other states with exemplary music scenes like Philly or Seattle. Now I am beginning to find bands and sounds that have existed for some time, but finally want to unearth themselves to my ears.

I’m excited for the young bands coming onto the scene too. A few that I’ve written about like Babe Haven and smattering of other hardcore bands, are slowly getting pushed into the limelight because of their amazing talents.

Cold Cream is a another one of these bands (comprised of music veterans) that should be able to foster the growth of more unique NC sounds to come.

Local Music

North Carolinian Reggae, Ska and Dub

This week’s local music dive is gettin’ tropical as we explore a little bit of North Carolina’s Reggae, Ska and Dub scene. When I say “scene”, I mean a pitiful handful of bands. Unfortunately (or fortunately based on your view), there aren’t too many performers in NC that make their artistic sounds modeled after Jamaica’s beautiful sounds, but that is okay because the bands we do have here are interesting too. 

From Carrboro, NC is The Unsustainables who focus on “traditional ska” and Reggae as their main sound influences. They perform around Raleigh in venues like the Pour House. As for band influences, here’s what their Bandcamp page states: “Inspired by the legends of Studio One, Treasure Isle, and Black Ark Studios”. 

Raleigh has their own Reggae and Dub influenced band called Sons of Paradise. Now, I’m not too keen on their sound as it sounds pretty white-washed, but maybe someone else will enjoy it. They also perform around Raleigh in venues like the Pour House.

And my favorite I’ve found is a Ska Punk band from Chapel Hill, NC, SiBANNÄC. These guys have a hardcore edge to their music in similar fashion to Bomb the Music Industry! When I started looking for Reggae and Ska music in the area for this blog post, I didn’t think I’d be listening to a sound like this. I enjoy the explosive percussion, raw and throaty vocals, diabolical thrashing guitar and vengeful subject matter in their songs. 

The Sounds of NC Reggae, Ska and Dub:

“The Unsustainables EP” by The Unsustainables

 Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy “You Hate to See It” off of this EP, but I did vibe with the long, windy “Heart Thief”. It is a slow moving jam, with nice chill lyrics, while “You Hate to See It” feels corny and overdone. “Heart Thief” feels more like an original sound based on the original Ska noises with a lot of sweet sax and island strums from the guitar. 

“Lift Me Higher” by Sons of Paradise

I didn’t like any of the songs I’ve listened to by Sons of Paradise. They’ve pulled the weakest parts of Reggae and Dub from the genre and turned it into music that doesn’t feel authentic. I might have been hoping for too much from picking through this genre in NC.

“Repeat Offenders” by SiBANNÄC

FCC warning: there are many curse words and inappropriate things for ears unaccustomed to non-radio approved music. This album came out last year in 2022, and since then I think they’ve added a new vocalist and released their final album. I loved “Bomb the Block” off “Repeat Offenders” because it’s a short and sweet ACAB piece of pie with all the Ska and angsty punk built into it. Also, their album that came out in April this year “Closing Statement”, which is stated as their final album that features many community members involved with their music. 

Well, I hope you all can find some island tunes for this warm November weather that puts you in a relaxed mood. I think The Unsustainables are the best sound for you if you’re seeking that, but if you’re like me and the coming Winter weather gets you heated up, then SiBANNÄC is just the band for you.

Concert Preview Local Music

November & December Local Shows

Hey y’all. Hope you’ve been keeping up with local shows in your neighborhoods wherever you’re from, and if you’re a part of the Triangle area, then I know there’s been a lot of great performances out here lately.

A couple months ago I made a post about shows in September in the area and I want to return to that style of post to update anyone that cares about interesting shows in the Durham, Raleigh and Chapel Hill area.

Chapel Hill:

  • Local 506 has a large number of upcoming shows including an “Emo(ish)” cover show on November 4th, Satan’s Satyrs w/ Magick Potion and The Magpie (a local band I’ve talked about before) opening for them on November 14th and Bask w/ Wailin’ Storms (a local band) on December 15th.
  • Cat’s Cradle (another indie music staple in the Triangle area) has Nation of Language performing on November 9th, Slaughter Beach, Dog plays on November 14th, Angel Olsen is making an appearance on December 9th and the first annual Holiday Hootenanny featuring Callous Daoboys, 68 and Johnny Booth on December 16th.


  • In Durham’s The Fruit, there are a number of musical and non-musical events happening like a monthly flea market on November 5th and December 3rd; there’s a 90’s Rave on November 18th; also, there’s Auntie Boy and Jooselord will be present on the same night (not sure how that works), but Jooselord is a local talent with tons of hype and fun.
  • The Pinhook also has many exciting musical talents and non-musical events like a Queer Movie Night featuring “Beetlejuice” and “To Wong Fu” on November 7th. Performing the next night is a Queer Country lineup with karaoke, line dancing and live music. Also, Rosie Tucker performs on November 13th.


  • And in Raleigh we have a few cool venues too. At The Ritz The Front Bottoms play on November 7th.
  • At Raleigh’s Pour House we have Crawford & Power (a lil’ country for ya) on November 12th, Late Notice and a slew of opening bands on November 16th and axelone w/ Max Gowan and Cor De Lux on November 27th.

Hope this light list of interesting performances can pique your interest. There are many bands and artists I’ve failed to mention, but these seemed the most interesting to me. Enjoy my bias.

Local Music

Bunker Punks Discs & Tapes: Local Records

Hello. It’s another week of me exploring the local Raleigh music business, and it has been brought to my attention there’s a label here doing great things with local punk and hardcore bands, Bunker Punks Discs & Tapes

They were founded in 2018 and have just a few releases under their belt, but with the music they’ve helped get out into the world so far, I’d say they have a lot of promise. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find too much about their business and founders except that they’re friends (according to Discogs). 

The Music:

In terms of releases and artists, they’ve got some notable and exciting bands working with them. For example, Scarecrow, a Charlotte native band that I talked about in a previous article about local hardcore bands, is signed on with Bunker Punks.

Bunker Punks released a split album, “Screaming Death”, two weeks ago on October 6. Scarecrow has four new killer tracks, one of which, “Sixth Mass Extinction”, absolutely scrambles my brain everytime I listen to it. It’s got a lot of chaotic energy and anger coming out from all the ways you could wish. 

Another band that has a release on Bunker Punks is Bloody Flag. Their only release is a self-titled EP with sounds like slicing the head off an enemy and… (I don’t think I can finish this thought without it getting too graphic). I am very excited to hear more from this band, as this album rips. My favorite track of theirs right now is “Sabbatic Goat Devotion“.

Vittna has a 7” self titled EP also released through Bunker Punks. They are another Raleigh hardcore punk band I’d love to see more from. This EP was released in 2018 during the first year of Bunker Punks existence. Favorite track of this release is “Mundane Genocide“.

While Bunker Punks Discs & Tapes is young, they have already scouted much amazing local talent, and hopefully they’ll continue to grow and keep fostering the sounds they have going. Looking into these record companies’ histories has been a fun way to connect with the culture of the surrounding area. Also, it’s a great way to discover local sounds you might not know exist.

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. 


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.


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.

Local Music

NC Hardcore Delights – Mutant Strain and Scarecrow

Today it will be my pleasure to introduce and talk about a few North Carolina native hardcore bands. We’ll be exploring debilitating sounds from Mutant Strain and Scarecrow.

These two bands have very few or only one EP/ LP released into the wilds of internet land that I could get my hands on. So, without any experience from seeing them live and in action, I’ll be judging their sounds from headphones that only play music out of one side. 

Mutant Strain:

Ah, my hometown heroes, Mutant Strain. These guys hail from my neck of the woods, Charlotte, NC, and they offer up some grisly, sharp sounds. Mutant Strain has one EP on which they’ve released their tracks in sets of three. 

This self-titled EP was released on November 13th, 2020 under Sorry State Records, a Raleigh based recording company.

My favorite set of tracks is “Pt. 2 The Evil Hand” with “Gross” and “Hogtied” being the two songs that stand out the most to me. They flow into each other seamlessly, while bringing a really cool harsh sound to our ears as we delight in the headbanging and thrash-indicing noises.It really makes me want to punch a wall and hug someone with ferocious steroid bear strength all at once. 

Mutant Strain released a full length album just last month called, “Murder of Crows”. I still haven’t listened to the full thing, but of the tracks I’ve heard, “Carolinian Jawbreaker” is my favorite. It’s got the face-smashing, nose-breaking drums and sick, throaty and evil vocals, which combine and form unparalleled pleasantries in my head. 


This Raleigh, NC based has released two EPs and a demo tape on the recording label, Bunker Punks Discs & Tapes, which is also based in Raleigh. We love local musicians. Scarecrow’s first release was in 2018 with their demo and their most recent release is called “Crisis EP”, released in 2022. 

Scarecrow’s band members consist of Daniel Lupton, Jeff Young and Usman Khan. All of these guys are part of other bands too, so their experiences come filtering in to make some crazy good, fast punk.

To describe their sound you’re going to need to imagine a combination of high voltage electricity and bricks slamming down on your body all at once. Take a listen to “Rationalization” from their “Crisis EP” released last year. It opens with static-y guitar and then drums and guitar jolt through your ears with jumpy vocals to make me feel on edge and antsy. It’s primal emotions spewing forth from raw emotion and great lyrics.

Wrapped Up:

Both of these bands will be playing at a Sorry State Records 10th anniversary concert on the weekend of October 20 in Raleigh (of course). Luckily the tickets seem mighty affordable and the multiple other bands will produce some glorious tunes to mosh, headbang, scream and enjoy.

Local Music

Local Shows in Your Neighborhoods

Howdy! Hope everyone is doing well post-Hopscotch partying and celebrating. I’ve seen many wonderful experiences and posts on our own blog site about how it went, which you can easily check out under WKNC’s “Festival Coverage” blog tag.

But, I am not here to talk to you about Hopscotch. Over the next couple weeks there’ll be quite a few wonderful artists comin’ through the Triangle area that you could easily go see if you’re not tuckered out from Hopscotch.

Durham/ Chapel Hill:

In Durham and Chapel Hill over the next couple of days alone we have Ben Folds, Cosmic Charlie (a Grateful Dead cover band), The Connells and Nick Cave that will all be making separate shows in the area. 

If any of these shows are too spontaneous for you to go to, well good news, there are even more artists coming later this month like of Montreal, Hand Habits, Osees and Soul Glo (with Zulu). All of these shows have varying ticket prices depending on popularity and venue. 

Of course, there are like thirty bands I didn’t mention, and even more that I don’t know about, but go explore and find some cool new sounds that inspire you or make you feel good. 


For you Raleigh homebodies, there are also quite a few artists (and comedians) coming to the area throughout the rest of this month. Over the next couple days Craig Robinson (a comedian) will have a few improv shows; Schoolkids Records is hosting Keep Flying; and Lil Yachty will be at the Ritz in just over a week. 

Also, the Pour House has weekly shows from Monday to Saturday and Kings has some improv and music shows on Saturdays for the rest of the month. If you’re interested in any of these shows, spend some time enjoying Raleigh’s local music venues who help attract and support local talents.

Classic Album Review Local Music

“Demo” by Slug Salter

Raleigh’s hardcore (hxc) scene is wonderfully diverse as I mentioned in my first article of this year. Slug Salter’s appearance on the NC hxc scene as a power violence and death metal band hasn’t made too many big waves or headlines just yet, but you should be prepared.

This three piece band from Raleigh has one demo tape currently released into the wild world of music. It was released a little over a year ago and has a run time of twelve minutes and forty-two seconds with seven tracks. I know, I know. This isn’t very lengthy, but the quality of music in a few of these tracks makes this band worth listening to.

I’ve seen that they’ve had shows at the Pour House in downtown Raleigh and a few other venues on their Instagram posts, but I haven’t had the chance to see them live myself. As they’re still a young band, they don’t headline many, if any, shows yet. 

Below, I have laid out three standout tracks from this demo, but feel free to check out the whole thing on their Bandcamp page or Spotify page. And, as a precaution, this band uses very foul language, so plug your ears if you hate “dirty words”.

Check Out This “Demo”:


Jarring and torturous drum beats concuss your head slam after slam into drywall. Envision that and you can picture just how much violence is in this track. It’s absolute god-fearing insanity which chills and thrills the skin. I love the mix of high and low pitched vocals and the sickly, nasty guitar. 

The name “RAT TORTURE” is horrifically dark. Why would anyone want to listen to anything like that? It’s the peace and quiet after this track ends that helps me appreciate this kind of music. Strange moments of absolute misery then abrupt peace are all too common, and I think music like this helps us figure out how to navigate these moments with emotional wisdom and odd clarity. 


Another hxc track that has a ridiculous soundbyte that leads into rapidly evolving chaos. I’m not gonna lie, I cannot decipher the words in this song at all, but I love how evil and angry it is. The band is able harness their sounds of chaos very well and use it to create a terrifying landscape of vast horrors capable of inciting mass hysteria. Perfect.


If this demo were to have a title track, I’d say this is the one. It has the most noticeable and constant rhythm out of any of the tracks and a bit of a longer intro compared to the others too. As it’s the longest song on the album (a whole two minutes and thirty-five seconds), it can take the liberty of expressing a few more unique instrumental sounds without vocals or anything laid overtop. 

Any Final Words?

Hey, if you’ve got thirteen minutes to spare, or need to quickly explode and vent some anger, I’ve found Slug Salter’s “Demo” to be a great emotional catalyst. Don’t go hurting anyone, but be sure to get your feelings out there and heard. 

It’s been great to be able to focus on small hxc bands in the Raleigh area so far this semester. I’ve found quite a few other bands that I am excited to explore in-depth in the next few weeks on this blog segment, so be sure to keep an eye out for these posts every week.