OurStage winners Twin Berlin‘s latest album may not have been produced by the iconic Travis Barker like their EP There Goes My Virtue was, but that doesn’t keep these New England natives from rocking hard on their brand new debut full-length, Sleazebrain. Starting things off strong with “You’re A Problem,” these self-proclaimed grunge rockers mix the perfect amount of aggression and passion into their music to create that raw and unaffected punk vibe that I love so much, yet find so rarely. And while the band has been teasing fans with clips and teasers of tracks such as the aforementioned opener and “Buzzkill,” I have to admit that my personal favorites lie in the deeper cuts, “Don’t Talk To Me” and “Kill This Low.” Still, the tracks they’ve chosen to lead with are strong, and are a pretty accurate snapshot of the album as a whole.
Grunge as a major influence is not easy to keep fresh two decades after its height, but Twin Berlin pull it off very well. The longer I let the album run the more I appreciated what a grower it is, and the more I wish I was able to immediately head out to one of their live shows. Because if this is the energy I’m getting from a recording, I can’t even imagine what kind of vibe they give off live.
Catch up with Twin Berlin on their Facebook, and be sure to grab a copy of Sleazebrain when it drops Feb. 18. In the meantime, check out a few tracks below to hold you over.
Happy New Year’s Eve, music lovers! As a special treat for fans, Artist Vs Poet have released a new single called “Close To You,” which you can take a listen to below. The band will be touring Japan this February with William Beckett for shows in Osaka, Nagoya, and Tokyo, in support of their latest release, Keep Your Secrets.
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For those of you who couldn’t stand all the sap in our Valentine’s Day playlist, this one’s for you. We’ve filled this week’s Soundtrax with heartache, misery, and a touch of independence for those of you looking to get away from candy-filled hearts and store-bought flowers. Frank Turner, the Buzzcocks, and OurStage artist the Airborne Toxic Event are just a few of the bands on this week’s list that are right there beside you.
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February is surely the shortest month of the year for a reason. Lucky for you, there’s a whole new slew of great albums to help you through the winter doldrums. Check out this week’s new releases.
The Bronx “ The Bronx (IV)
It’s business as usual for these LA punks on their fourth album. Though The Bronx have spent time in their mariachi alter-ego Mariachi El Bronx, the band is back to full rock form on this release with brash, abrasive vocals that ride on jagged waves of distorted guitar. Read a full review here. (more…)
Writing a sophomore album is a tricky prospect, especially when a band has received a massive amount of buzz and critical praise in relation to their relatively short lifespan. Groups crumble all the time under the weight of these expectations “ whether from themselves or from the media “ and often are unable to recapture the magic of their first major release: the one that they had their entire lives to conjure, instead of just a few months between tours and promotion. The rapid pace of the blogosphere has magnified the effect of this pressure, churning out new acts by the day that are effective sonic replacements for any formerly beloved group that has failed to pass muster on a new release. Add in the democratic and anonymous nature of the Internet, which emboldens the opinionated to release the type of caustic criticism that most would hide in person, and it is understandable why many bands today would have some trepidation regarding the release of new material.
Local Natives seem like they may be aware of, if not certainly reactive to, these perils. In part, because their second release Hummingbird does not stray far stylistically from Gorilla Manor, the debut album that put the Los Angeles group on the map in 2010. The band’s chiming guitar parts and multi-part harmonies remain, as do their intricate percussion lines that often form the focal points of their studio compositions and their energetic live shows. For some bands, the re-creation of a uniform sonic profile reminiscent of a past release could be interpreted as an insurance against loss, a way to satisfy those listeners who are expecting more of the same from a band they already enjoy. For other groups, the preservation of the same style could simply signify their love of that particular sound, and their desire to wring it dry for all of its latent value.
In 1991 the Gulf War was raging, the youth of America were draped in flannel, and Irish indie rockers My Bloody Valentine had just released their second studio album Loveless, setting the bar almost impossibly high for future shoegaze records. Now, more than 20 years later, the band has finally released a new studio album entitled mbv, only their third in nearly three decades of existence.
Of course, the musical landscape has changed dramatically since the band was last in the studio. In keeping with modern times, My Bloody Valentine have embraced the multiplicity of formats currently available, albeit with somewhat head-scratching results. Even though My Bloody Valentine have posted all of their new songs on YouTube, they have also released the album with a tiered pay structure that may seem strange to many listeners. For $30, fans can grab the vinyl, CD, and digital download of the album. The band is also offering the CD and download for $22, and the download by itself for $16. While these high prices may seem strange for an indie band that has already put all of the songs on YouTube and is promoting the album with no label backing, the digital downloads are all available at exceptionally high quality as 24 bit, 96kHz WAV files, which is certainly not the norm for digital releases. Not sure if you want to drop the cash on the new release just yet? Check out the new tunes on the band’s YouTube channel first.
Check out OurStage members Foxtailsomersault if you’re into My Bloody Valentine.
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