Rock and roll trio The Figgs have released their 12th (!) studio album, On The Slide. Coming just a year after their acclaimed Other Planes Of Here LP, the new album continues the band’s evolution from their origins as amped-up guitar-driven rockers to perfecters of concise cosmic pop. As ever, the band is tight as hell, adorning On The Slide‘s 10 tracks with minimal overdubs – some guitar textures, harmonies, and/or a subtle synthesizer or traditional keyboard part (including some nice solos by recent auxiliary member Ted Collins). “Just The Facts” finds the band at their funkiest, while “Open G Capo Position 3” bears some ’70s prog rock influence (and I mean that in the best possible way). “Connecting Brains” is based on a jagged guitar riff, but still remains mellow; a wholly phased-out jam that sets the tone for the album. The Figgs will tour sporadically through the summer and into fall, so check out dates here. On The Slide is available on CD, limited edition vinyl, and digital download.
As if a great new track were not enough, we (up here in the Northeast, at least) have some Figgs gigs to look forward to, starting this weekend. The band traditionally plays a slew of holiday shows, highlighted by unpredictable set lists and this time, no doubt, by more new music. Dates:
12.11.15 New York, NY – Bowery Electric (w/ Doug Gillard)
12.12.15 Albany, NY – The Low Beat (w/ The Charlie Watts Riots)
12.18.15 Pawtucket, RI – The Met (w/The Upper Crust)
12.19.15 Allston, MA – Great Scott (w/The Upper Crust)
Since their mid-’90s flirtation with alt-rock radio ascendency, The Figgs have been a perpetually-evolving artistic entity. From their roots as purveyors of guitar pop, the band moved into riff rock while simultaneously mastering songcraft, and ended up as true studio artists, creating collections of short, unassuming songs that still somehow feel deep and epic. Their last few records have been shockingly consistent as they perfected a completely unique sonic signature. Now in their fourth decade as a band, The Figgs have released Other Planes of Here, an eight song LP that provides the perfect balance of melody, groove, natural lyricism, and pure charm. Living up to its title, the album slips in and out of time, touching familiar, classic sounds and forms, still rocking hard, but just as often bouncing into the stratosphere to suddenly achieve pop nirvana. Never has musical complexity been so enjoyable and easy to absorb. Turn off your mind, relax, and float into other planes with The Figgs.
December’s winners (and more) are featured on the OurStage show streaming now on AmazingRadio.com. Listen in to hear music from Adios Mafia, Jesi Jones, Ju’not, Jillian Valentine, Space Walk, The Delta Riot, Sho Skrilla, Summerlyn Powers, Late Cambrian, Annalise Emerick, Yellabird, The Figgs, Kat Robichaud, and Shotty.
CMJ Music Marathon is upon us. Let’s talk about it, shall we? The long-running music conference and showcasepalooza takes place in New York City and its boroughs, October 21-25. It’s not easy to span the city in time to catch all the acts performing, but damn it if it isn’t fun to try.
This year will see the return of the Outlaw Roadshow, put on by Counting Crows‘ Adam Duritz in conjunction with the Ryan’s Smashing Life blog. The traveling showcase – no badges required! – has been a popular feature of the big fests from Austin to NY and features some of the best underground music in the country. If you hit this one, you’ll catch sets from our friends Mean Creek and Air Traffic Controller, as well as Hallelujah The Hills, Christian McNeil & Sea Monsters, Corin Ashley (occasionally of The Pills), and many more.
Here are a few more to check out:
We’ll have some more recommendations to come, no doubt.
We told you about The Figgs a few months ago in our Artist of the Week feature. And just last week, we tipped you off on a solo record and upcoming tour from singer/bassist Pete Donnelly. Now you can hear the guys – Donnelly, Mike Gent, and Pete Hayes – being interviewed by Marc Maron on his great WTF podcast. Maron is a longtime fan of the band, who have now been together for 26 years, and just got some big exposure over the summer when their song was featured in a Lexus ad. Check out the podcast here.