Category Archives: Check ’em Out!

Check ‘Em Out: Cavemouth

Cavemouth

“Guaranteed to get you up and out of your seat and sweating, Cavemouth are the aural equivalent to a night on a stairmaster, drinking Jack Daniels through a pair of fishnet tights.”

Cavemouth are a primal lo-fi funk four-piece who sound as though they live on the wilds of Exmoor (UK) on a strict diet of roadkill, making music to keep the neighbors away and lure the foxes in. Their gritty original sound blends blues, funk and hip-hop with African-influenced tunes and mind-altering lyrics.

Fronted by Sketchy Lex on filthy guitar and vocals, Wreckless Richie on drums, Ms. Mo on funked-up bass and vocals and Mr. Duncan ‘The Hook’ Hook on saxophone, the band have known each other for years. Growing up in rural Devon, they had to make their own entertainment by putting on their own raves and free parties, a past that has certainly helped to shape their sound.

Inspired by everything around them from politics and religion to nature, Cavemouth are influenced by Prince, ESG, Busta Rhymes, Leadbelly, Jack White, Queens of the Stone Age and Jethro Tull.

Check them out on Souncloud HERE.

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Video: The Wheel Workers – “Burglar”

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“Painfully catchy.” – MAGNET

“Houston’s brightest hope. Damn. Seriously righteous.” – BLURT

“Sincerely progressive and catchy as hell.” – Space City Rock

“Sociopolitical consciousness with a memorable hook.” – The Big Takeover

“New Wave synth stylings meet sharp lyrics.” – PopMatters

Houston-based sociopolitical pop act, The Wheel Workers follows up its 2014 nomination as “Best Pop Act” at the Houston Press Music Awards with a total of eight nominations in 2015 including “Best Local Recording” for its current album CITIZENS, as well as “Best Live Act.” Bandleader Steven Higginbotham has also been nominated as “Local Musician of The Year” and “Best Songwriter,” an especially noteworthy accomplishment for a pop band.

“I love artists who’ve had something substantial to say beyond the standard lyrical fare in pop songs,” Higginbotham says.  The Houston Chronicle called The Wheel Workers’ previous release “one of the best albums made in Houston last year,” and now CITIZENS is earning similar praise, this time on a national level.

When Higginbotham talks about substance in pop songs, he’s talking about the pairing of sociopolitical consciousness with a memorable hook. After all, there’s a reason that listeners are still moved by the catchiest folk and punk protest songs of Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, and The Clash. This approach to music-making by The Wheel Workers is the reason why the Houston Chronicle went on in that same piece to call the album a “thoughtful recording that offers new rewards during repeated playings.”

On CITIZENS, the band’s way of doing things has become masterful, as the album’s latest single “Burglar” proves. Higginbotham started writing the song the day after (guess what?) his home was burglarized.

“The singing style is reflective of my angry and vulnerable state at the time,” he recalls. Higginbotham didn’t finish the tune off until some time later when a failed relationship left him feeling that same way again. “So the song is ultimately about the break-up and looking back at what was lost,” he concludes.  The music video for “Burglar” noted the clip’s “Wes Anderson-inspired aesthetic.”

 “The original idea for the song was written a day after my house was burglarized, thus the title,” Higginbotham explains.  “Fortunately, they didn’t go upstairs, so my recording gear was intact!  I had been drinking, and my singing style on the song is reflective of my weird, drunken, semi-angry and vulnerable state at the time.”

With all that’s going on for The Wheel Workers and CITIZENS, the band is already looking towards the future, having already tracked basics for its next full-length.

“While the vinyl press cools off from printing album number three, we’re already in the studio working on number four,” says band member and producer, Dan Workman. “We’re all pretty amazed with the number of great songs and sounds we are collecting. I think that we’re hitting our stride!”

Higginbotham and the band’s Craig Wilkins (a fellow Houston Press Music Awards nominee as “Best Keyboards”) note that the next record will be of a more collaborative nature.

 Along with Higginbotham, Wilkins and Workman, The Wheel Workers is comprised of Allison Wilkins McPhail, and Tyson Sheth.  CITIZENS by The Wheel Workers is out now.  The Houston Press Music Awards are scheduled to be handed out on August 20th.

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Track Listing:

  1. Yodel
  2. Burglar
  3. Whole Other World
  4. Smokescreen
  5. Wage Slaves
  6. Run Away
  7. Dream
  8. Citizen Incorporated

 

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Bad Bad Hats Release Album Today

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Minneapolis’ indie rock trio Bad Bad Hats released their critically acclaimed debut album Psychic Reader today. In celebration of the highly anticipated record, the band will kick off a national fall tour, making stops in Chicago, DC, NYC, Philly and more. They will join Saddle Creek’s Mynabirds as direct support for this stint of live dates.

Album opener “Midway” is an undeniably infectious track that is broken up by a danceable, energetic pop chorus that tells a story of a relationship’s impending end. Check out the video below.


Psychic Reader is comprised of experimental beats, growling guitars, and catchy pop melodies that are both dreamy and strikingly deep.  Bolstered by the touches of producer Brett Bullion (Poliça), the band takes a refreshingly rebellious approach with lyrics that challenge gender conventions. Catch the band’s captivating live show in a city near you!

8/14: Minneapolis, MN @ Icehouse (11pm set)
9/10: Seattle, WA @ Sunset Tavern *
9/11: Portland, OR @ Bunk Bar *
9/12: Boise, ID @ Neurolux *
9/14: Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court *
9/15: Denver, CO @ Hi-Dive *
9/17: Omaha, NE @ Slowdown *
9/18: Minneapolis, MN @ 7th St Entry *
9/19: Chicago, IL @ Schubas *
9/20: Cleveland, OH @ Beachland *
9/23: Philadelphia, PA @ Boot & Saddle *
9/25: Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade *
9/26: Washington, DC @ U Street Music Hall *
* = Direct Support for Mynabirds

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Newest Love: IAMDYNAMITE

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“IAMDYNAMITE have carved deeper into their unique style, blending elements from their musical roots of Seattle sound and 80s pop.“ – Earmilk

“Ridiculously good… The songwriting is light years beyond their debut.” – Pop Dose

“Infectiously catchy hooks that pair atmospheric synths” – The Joy of Violent Movement

” IAMDYNAMITE are back, and they’ve done a complete 180 – making an 80s-inspired slow burn record that comes off as Sting & Oates.” –  A-Sides with Jon Chattman

Michigan-based IAMDYNAMITE announce slew of new tour dates in support of its forthcoming new album Wasa Tusa (out August 7th on Brando Records) and reveal a new cut from the album.

The tour sees the duo of Chris Martin and Chris Phillips hitting the road across the U.S. from August through October playing such venerable venues as NYC’s Webster Hall, House of Blues in Myrtle Beach, Chicago’s Bottom Lounge and many more. A full list of dates can be found below.

The guitar-driven tension of “Bloom” bursts forth much like the name of the track implies. Premiering today, it’s the second cut revealed from IAMDYNAMITE’s sophomore album Wasa Tusa and follows the lead album track “Be There” which recently premiered via EARMILK.

Drawing inspiration from 80’s pop pioneers such as The Police and Hall & Oates to early 2000 nu-rave revivalists such as Klaxons and Simian Mobile Disco, IAMDYNAMITE’s synth-driven rock and alt-pop hooks are as danceable as they are delicious.

Wasa Tusa, set for release on August 7 via Brando Records sees IAMDYNAMITE expanding their repertoire and experimenting in the studio to create a new brand of freewheeling pop.  Produced by Matt Novesky, the album highlights their melodic, hook laden songwriting skills and delivers a swift emotional punch.

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Listen: IAMDYNAMITE – “Bloom”

IAMDYNAMITE Tour Dates
8/15: Chicago, IL @ Bottom Lounge
8/18: Lacrosse, WI @ The Warehouse
8/19: St. Paul, MN @ Turf Club
8/20: Sauget, IL @ Pop’s
8/21: Kansas City, MO @ Riot Room
8/22: Denver, CO @ Marquis Theater
8/23: Colorado Springs, CO @ Black Sheep
9/10: Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade
9/11: Myrtle Beach, SC @ House of Blues
9/12: Charlotte, NC @ 1065 The End’s Weenie Roast
9/13: Raleigh, NC @ 95X Big Shindig
9/19: New York, NY @ Webster Hall
9/20: Providence, RI @ Simmon’s 677
9/23: Stanhope, NJ @ Stanhope House
9/24: Rochester, NY @ Montage Music Hall
10/1: Dallas, TX @ Double Wide
10/2: Houston, TX @ Walter’s
10/6: Albuquerque, NM @ The Jam Spot
10/7: Tucson, AZ @ The Rock
10/8: Scottsdale, AZ @ Pub Rock Live

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Check ‘Em Out: Bad Bad Hats

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Photo Credit: Avalon Moon

“A gritty two-and-a-half minutes of wobbly bass, wailing guitar, and front woman Kerry Alexander’s slinky vocals, it is a blast—and there is more like this to come.” FADER

“‘Shame’ goes down like a refreshing, kick-you-in-the-face-strong cocktail, most likely swilled after a booty call gone bust. Wash that man right out of your hair.”  SPIN

“Complete with the crunchy kick of slightly manic-sounding guitar and the pulse of some very punchy bass…” – Paste Magazine

“ …the love-struck optimism of “Psychic Reader” harkens back to some of Wilson’s preferred buoyant romanticism” – Stereogum

“… programmed to fire all neural pathways associated with carefree indie rock fun. But beware: These lyrics will bite.” NPR

Minneapolis-based Bad Bad Hats reveal their debut album Psychic Reader, streaming exclusively with Interview Magazine now until release on July 17 via Afternoon Records. Named as one of SPIN’s “Artists to Watch,” the indie rock trio emerges with a record that is both artistically honest and widely accessible.

Psychic Reader is comprised of experimental beats, growling guitars, and catchy pop melodies that are both dreamy and strikingly deep.  Bolstered by the touches of producer Brett Bullion (Poliça, Bon Iver), the band takes a refreshingly rebellious approach with lyrics that challenge gender conventions.

In celebration of the new record, Bad Bad Hats announced a hometown album release show in Minneapolis, August 14 at Icehouse.

Stream the album now over at Interview Magazine!

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Check ‘Em Out: Color Palette – “Seventeen”

Color Palette

Listen: Color Palette – “Seventeen”

Check out Color Palette, who just last month released their debut single “Seventeen”, from their forthcoming full-length album.

Inspired by acts like Washed Out and Wild Nothing, Color Palette blends a sunny West Coast sound with a natural northern edge. The brainchild of vocalist Jay Nemeyer, Color Palette was formed after Nemeyer’s former band The Silver Liners split. He quickly recruited Jon Jester (percussion) and Nico Grossfeld (bass) to travel with him to Los Angeles and record their debut full-length, set to be released this summer.

“Seventeen” was co-produced and recorded by Kyle Downes and pulls inspiration from artists such as Kurt Vile and New Order.

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Check ‘Em Out: YAWN – “Day Trip”

YAWNS

Listen: YAWN – “Day Trip”

Chicago psych-pop band YAWN will release its new Day Trip EP on August 21st via FeelTrip Records & Old Flame Records.

They’ve shared the title track, which Consequence of Sound calls “this year’s weirdest and most eccentric summer jam.” You can stream & share “Day Trip” — one of the band’s sunniest, most pop-leaning songs yet — via Soundcloud.

YAWN mixes off-kilter psychedelia with infectious pop hooks for a sound that’s simultaneously unconventional and accessible. The band’s own brand of electro-infused psych pop features buzzing guitars, warbling synth, and hazy, blissed-out melodies, and their energetic live show has landed them tours with bands like Tame Impala, The Kooks, Yuck, and Mates of State.

For another taste of the upcoming EP, you can stream the previously-released single “Overflow” and check out its accompanying video

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Listen: Painted Palms – “Tracers”

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“Recaptures that sad-eyed, happy-footed disco-Beatlemania that made Of Montreal’s mid-aughts electronic renaissance so satisfying.” – Stereogum

“…channels a bit of Primal Scream’s Screamadelica the same way Jaqwar Ma have and also wouldn’t sound out of place on a mix next to Cut Copy.” – Under The Radar

“A brain-warpingly awesome cut of tripped-out pop.” – Noisey

Painted Palms’ second full-length album, Horizons, exudes a sense of confidence and purpose that is only present when two creators share a singular focus and absolute trust in each other’s talents. On Horizons, emotional states are suspended between light and dark, driven by the tension of efficient song structures. This week the band shares the synth-laden “Tracers,” melding ’60s psych pop with heavy-footed ’80s drum machines. Though vocalist Chris Prudhomme and producer Reese Donohue chose to collaborate on their second full-length by sending song ideas back and forth over e-mail, just as they did when crafting their 2014 debut Forever, Horizons marks the first time the duo has expanded their sound beyond the bedroom by stepping into the studio. Mixed by former DFA house engineer Eric Broucek (LCD Soundsystem, Classixx), Horizons engages with a diverse sonic palette on each track: ’60s psych-pop, ’80s synths, hypnotic vibes of the kind induced by Bjork and early ’90s Creation Records bands, and the trunk-rattling minimalism of Southern hip-hop. Horizons is a meditation on achieving balance in a place where things are always changing, and there are no real ends. As a result, Painted Palms refines and executes their best work to date.

Painted-Palms-Horizons-1425 Listen: Painted Palms – “Tracers”

Painted Palms
Horizons

Release Date: September 4, 2015

1. Refractor
2. Contact
3. Gemini
4. Glaciers
5. Echoes
6. Control
8. Waterfall
9. Painkiller

Tour Dates:

 8/27 San Francisco, CA @ Rickshaw Stop*

9/4 Brooklyn, NY @ Baby’s All Right
* = w/ Antwon, Meat Market

 

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Check ‘Em Out: Wallflower

Wallflower

 

Listen: Wallflower – “Fabricated”

The first single off their debut EP and direct lyrical follow up to their breakthrough single “Ambien”, “Fabricated” is hand claps, oohs and ahhs, silky guitars, signature skeez and the realization that life can be a bit shit sometimes, but that’s okay.

Formed late in 2013, Wallflower have gone on to become a marquee act of the Canberra music industry and a hidden secret of the capitals leafy streets. Falling somewhere between Kanye West, Jinja Safari and Coldplay, Wallflower are an eclectic band carving their own sound and have already built a dedicated and ever growing fan base.

Named as one of Triple J Unearthed’s top 10 bands you missed in 2014, it’s time for Wallflower to leave the comfort of Canberra and become the band square in the middle of the nation’s consciousness for 2015.

Having spent months between the iconic Studios 301 in Sydney, Abbey Road in London and Studio Sixty- Eight; “Fabricated” is a patchwork creation from renowned producer Simon Todkill (Matt Corby, The Griswolds), Matt Barnes (Coda Conduct, PJ Michael) and front-man Henry Waldren.

“Fabricated” is ultimately a polished, intricate track full of depth and dancing driving rhythm. So volume up, just listen and dance.

 

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Remix: Ships Have Sailed – “Out of Time” (Goatmilk Remix)

SHS

Ships Have Sailed, an alternative pop-rock trio hailing from Los Angeles, debuted their first EP, Someday in 2014, which gained heavy airplay on College, NPR, and commercial radio in the US and Canada. Its success inspired the band to tour the East Coast, during which time they began piecing together their first full-length album, Moodswings.

With the success of Moodswings, Ships Have Sailed have partnered up with several DJ’s to remix the hit singles off the LP, resulting in Re: MIX, out July 14. Among the 4 DJ’s are San Francisco’s future bass impresarios, Dimond Saints, as well as Swedish DJ, Goatmilk.

Check out Goatmilk’s remix of “Out of Time” right now — it’s amazing!!!

Remix

Listen: Ships Have Sailed – “Out of Time” (Goatmilk Remix)

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