The Alt Weekly Roundup (4/22)

Posted: by The Editor

The Alternative Weekly Roundup is a column where our staff plugs a variety of new releases in a concise, streamlined format. Albums, singles, videos, and live sets. Check back each Monday to see what we were jamming the week prior.

somesurprises – Perseids

Perseids is, at least nominally, a record about the beauty of the heavens, and somesurprises delivers on the promise of the title. The Seattle band’s sophomore LP is equal parts dream-pop and ambient. The vaporous openness of “Black Field” and the instrumental cuts “Snakes and Ladders” and “Untitled” are equally as compelling as the noise-pop squall of the climax of “Be Reasonable” – an impressive feat – and Natasha El-Sergany’s wispy vocals never need to rise above a wispy croon to command attention. It all comes together on the delicate eight-minute title track, which finds guest vocalist Jessika Kenney reciting a Hafez poem over what sounds like a Mazzy Star record as heard from a passing car.

Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

Ethan Beck & The Charlie Browns – “Fear and Loathing in Gramercy”

“Fear and Loathing in Gramercy,” the new late-night wander-the-streets tune from Ethan Beck & The Charlie Browns (great band name) hits instantly, with an anxious energy that seeps through every guitar line and drum fill. A song with these lyrical themes could easily take a moody, smoky instrumental route, but the relentless attack Beck & The Charlie Browns go for works so much better here, bringing a frantic After Hours energy to the whole thing. Featuring the same lineup of musicians that played on Frog Legs’ killer It’s Been A Hard Year, Ethan Beck & The Charlie Browns’ upcoming debut Duck Hollow should be one that you won’t want to miss.

Aaron Eisenreich | @slobboyreject

Virgins – Nothing Hurt and Everything Was Beautiful

Virgins’ debut album, Nothing Hurt and Everything Was Beautiful, approaches shoegaze like pop music, closer in spirit to Hotline TNT or Ex-Pilots than their noisier Philly peers, the Belfast five-piece crafting fuzzy tunes that invite you in rather than bludgeoning you with feedback. Rebecca Dow’s voice is crisp and clear, endowing “close” and “adore” with genuine hooks, while “slowly, long” never lets it beefed up guitars stray away from pillowy warmth.

Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

Arms Like Roses / Sinking – Split

Sinking and Arms Like Roses share two things: a drummer and a fondness for classic emo music. It’s cool to see, on their new split, how both groups take a similar sonic foundation in completely opposite directions. Sinking delivers anthemic, heavy emo that puts them in conversation with the likeminded Feverchild and The Arrival Note, while Arms Like Roses’ half is spindly and erratic, anchored by the theatrical and charismatic vocal performance of Estelle Angel. Both bands contribute a cover of an older emo track, too, and make them their own, giving some insight into where their hearts lie: Sinking takes on The Appleseed Cast’s “Innocent Vigilant Ordinary,” while Arms Like Roses reimagine “Oh Messy Life” by Cap’n Jazz.

Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

No Good With Secrets – “Sentimental Things”

Featuring the sort of lyrics you might expect from a song called “Sentimental Things” and infectious instrumentals, the latest No Good With Secrets track is mandatory listening for punks who don’t mind getting a little sappy. The timely back-up vocals add a sweetness to the sludge of the guitars that helps to push the tune to another level of catchiness without ever getting too cloying. It’s the second tune out from No Good With Secrets’ fantastic Another Side, out May 10.

Aaron Eisenreich | @slobboyreject

Garden Home – Garden Home

Wisconsin post-hardcore band Garden Home deliver on the hype with their debut full-length. Garden Home is a perfect synthesis of all the forms screamo has taken over the past few years, from post-rock detours on “Hot Water / Cold Hands” and “Grim” to the blackened coda of “Not Today.” At eight songs and less than twenty-five minutes, the whole thing breezes by sounding simultaneously effortless and like the entire band is on the verge of collapse at every minute. On the album’s lead single “The Worst of It,” over a deluge of cymbal crashes, Dylan Mazurkiewicz shrieks, “feel the worst of it / make the most of it.” It sounds like he’s only trying to convince himself, but if Garden Home is a record about falling apart, they make it sound inspiring.

Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

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