The Alt Weekly Roundup (4/8)

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.

This Page Intentionally Left Blank – Rebuilding Year

The new project of vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Troy Sennett (Pelafina, ex-City Mouth) and drummer Matt Kistler (Blood Pact Scout), This Page Intentionally Left Blank’s debut is ten minutes of exquisite emo. Rebuilding Year throws back to the early revival era, redolent of Joie De Vivre and Penpal, twinkling brightly but never burning out.

Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

red sun – best buds 🙂

red sun’s debut EP best buds 🙂 should go down smooth for anyone who likes their emo loaded with riffs, punchy guitars, raw-but-strong vocals, and an active rhythm section. It’s the drums that most often steal the show while never getting overly busy in a way that distracts from the songs. Every tune hits here, but closer (and track with the longest runtime) “ball mccartney” in particular shows off red sun’s ability to shred.

Aaron Eisenreich | @slobboyreject

Dustin Kensrue – “The Heart of Sedona”

A singular artist known for constant reinvention embraces country and roots music on latest solo LP – that’s right, Thrice vocalist Dustin Kensrue’s Desert Dreaming is closer to Zach Bryan or John Moreland than any Warped Tour vet. The album’s high point is “The Heart of Sedona,” which blends Kensrue’s gruff rasp with tasteful pedal steel. He sounds so natural in this mode it’s a shock he’s never tried it before.

Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

memento. – Dreams of Cataclysm

Florida is a haven for metalcore lately, and memento. is one of the best bands coming out of one of the best states. Their A Chorus of Distress from 2022 remains of the genre’s best offerings in recent years, and their new two-song Dreams of Cataclysm single builds nicely off that EP. These songs get even heavier than before, and to drive that home the title track features Clayton Campbell of Maryland metalcore upstarts Morbideity. Despite the title, there is no solace to be found in either of these songs, just pure aggression – exactly what memento. does best.

Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

No Good with Secrets – “Turn Back Over”

No Good with Secrets’ debut In Stereo was one of those records that on first listen I jumped over merely enjoying the music and was instantly in a state of obsession. It’s almost impossible for me to listen to it without immediately running it back. About five seconds into their new track “Turn Back Over,” it’s apparent that the same will be true for their upcoming Another Side. It’s a bite-size track that’s all sugary sweetness, displaying Madison James’ ability to both write a great hook and wrench such a badass sound from their guitars.

Aaron Eisenreich | @slobboyreject

Under Your Nail – Under Your Nail

It takes two and a half minutes before the full band comes in on Under Your Nail’s self-titled EP, which perfectly encapsulates this LA band’s ethos. They’re in no hurry to make an impression, focusing instead on crafting an atmosphere; these songs are intricately arranged, swirling with strings and soft, chiming guitars and drums that patter like rain on a tin roof. It’s great to hear an up-and-coming emo band with this sort of restraint on their first release, the sort of balance it took Mineral and Jimmy Eat World and Christie Front Drive (all bands whose mark is clearly felt here) years to achieve.

Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

The Big Easy – “A Kind of Dream”

 A somber slowburn that rewards your patience with a payoff of cascading guitars, “A Kind of Dream” shows off The Big Easy’s ability to work comfortably with a range of dynamics. If you’re unfamiliar with their 2020 record A Long Year, now is a good time to get acquainted as it seems the group is gearing to release another full-length this year.

Aaron Eisenreich | @slobboyreject

The Drew Thomson Foundation – Fan Letter

Fan Letter, the surprise new EP from The Drew Thomson Foundation, was recorded back in ’21 with John Dinsmore, who also worked on the project’s delightful Stay EP. Dinsmore’s influence is felt, as these tracks feel cut from the same cloth as Stay, at least more so than 2019’s self-titled LP; the four tracks here capture the same kind of Americana-laced alt rock that the band did so well on that tape, but with the wisdom and wit of a few years’ remove. All four of these songs are as good as anything Thomson’s ever penned before. 

Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

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