Indie Rock

New album: Super Bummer || Super Bummer

Super Bummer is a Denver-based indie rock outfit featuring long time friends Keenan Vincent (songwriting, vocals, guitar), Justin Camilli (production, mixing, art, guitar), Thomas Austin (bass) and Nic Turiciano (drums). Previous work dealt with Blushing in the Night, Big Ambition and Futuresickness, but the latest release is a different story.

“The person you have called is not available right now. Please try again later.” The voicemail message that opens their new, self-titled LP is the kick-off to eleven goosebump-inducing songs about losing a parent. The atmospheric, howling guitar melodies and compelling, intense vocals mesmerize, bringing us close to the grieving process. Although the subject carries a great deal of loss and sadness, both the personal lyrics and the melancholic music are rather comforting.

Super Bummer’s S​/​T album is out now digitally through Grouphug.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Another Michael || Wishes To Fulfill

I initially dismissed Another Michael’s new Wishes To Fulfill album. Fortunately, I was so zoned in at work that I did not took the time to put on the next record in my mailbox. The Philadelphia band slowly won me over. Although Wishes To Fulfill is a departure of the loud ramshackleness of my common musical diet, it definitely is something special. To my noise battered ears, Another Michael sound like a mix of ’70s AM pop, Pinegrove and Unknown Mortal Orchestra. They display a level of talent and skill that invites listeners to sit back with a lyric sheet on their lap and a pot of coffee or tea close. In a world that keeps spinning, inertia can offer a reminder of the finer things in life, and Another Michael provide a fantastic soundtrack for taking it all in.

Wishes To Fulfill is out now at Run For cover Records. It’s part of a duology of which the second, more experimental installment (Pick Me Up, Turn Me Upside Down) is expected to arrive in 2024.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Run For Cover

New EP: Neil Jung || Infinity is Whatever

Brooklyn based four-piece Neil Jung were all ready to go early 2020 with their first shows played and their debut EP recorded and set for release. Then that kinda big thing happened and Neil Jung opted for the let’s postpone and wait-it-out approach. Now, in 2023, the band has found a steady heartbeat again, ready to take on whatever the world throws at them. That starts with the release (finally!) of Infinity is Whatever, an EP that is simply to good to leave on the shelf. Of the six songs, I like the middle two the most. Washing Machine and Washer both sound like power pop songs through the ears of kids who grew up on indie rock.

Neil Jung are back before they even started. Let’s see where they will take us next. Buy the Infinity Is Whatever Tape at the band’s Bandcamp page.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New EP: The Casper Fight Scene || Haymaker

The Marquette music scene is alive and kicking. Type in Marquette in the search bar and you’ll find some of my favorite finds of that area. The latest one is a new EP by The Casper Fight Scene. Haymaker contains five songs of emo tinged indiepunk. Fabric is the song that sees The Casper Fight Scene shine brightest. It’s not the only song that is reminiscent of Joyce Manor. The slow burning Soft Parade is the outlier track, but in a way that makes for a fantastic closing track. The Haymaker EP was originally self-released a couple of weeks ago, and immediately got picked by No Sleep Records. Seems like a strong fit for both parties. I am definitely keeping an eye out for this band!

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Pkew Pkew Pkew ||| Siiick Days

On their first couple of albums, Pkew Pkew Pkew have shown they can make a statement of fact sound anthemic (e.g., “This Is A Building” from 2016’s Asshole Pandemic) and that self-deprecation and punkrock are a match made in heaven. On their new LP Siiick Days, the band’s fourth LP and first on Stomp Records, the Toronto band again find inspiration in the mundane. Like regret selling your Playstation when the world’s closing down because of the Covid Pandemic. “Really hope that guy sell me my Playstation back” sure makes for a killer chorus. It is no surprise the literary genius Craig Finn (The Hold Steady) is a massive fan of Pkew Pkew Pkew. Finn also is credited as lyrical consultant for the record, which I assume means he wrote some red inked comments like “awesome,” “love this” and “this made me LOL” on the papers the band sent him.

Pete Steinkopf from The Bouncing Souls produced Siiick Days. I think it may be the best and most accomplished Pkew Pkew Pkew have sounded yet. Buy Siiick Days now at Stomp Records!

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Stomp Records

New album: Maura Weaver || I Was Due For A Heartbreak

If the name Maura Weaver doesn’t ring a bell immediately, there is fair chance you’ve heard her work in Mixtapes, Boys and Ogikubo Station or her contributions on records by Homeless Gospel Choir, Direct Hit! and Masked Intruder. Here is another reason why you should have Maura Weaver on your radar. Her solo debut I Was Due For A Heartbreak is out now. It’s a departure from indie punk that associated with Weaver’s previous projects, but it is a welcome one. I Was Due For A Heartbreak is an impressive indie pop record with a slight country twang and a touch of ’60 girl group to it. It’s a record that sneaks up on you, the kind that sets you up for an unexpected gut punch in its second half. With the strong opening combo of Ease On The Eyes and Crush On You Pt. II, you get the sense that the record is frontloaded, like most records are. Then you discover that the B-side of I Was Due For An Heartbreak may be even better. That idea starts with Jefferson Highway, but gets cemented with the upbeat yet melancholic Goner, a heart-grabbing show-stopper of a tune. And while you are recovering from the song you get sucked into the amazing title track that is an emotional rollercoaster. Color me impressed, indeed!

I Was Due For A Heartbreak is out now at Don Giovanni.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Don Giovanni

New album: Small Crush || Penelope

Californian indie rock/garage pop band Small Crush returns with their sophomore LP Penelope under their belt. Songwriter Logan Hammon (vocals, rhythm guitar), Jackson Felton (lead guitar), Allen Moreno (drums) and Joey Chavez (bass) deliver another ten charming, punchy tunes with jangly guitar melodies, pleasant hazy vocals and youthful lyrics about love and longing for better places and times. “There is so much beauty out here // So much unseen // If I could describe it somehow // It would be a dream” (from second single Ecosystem). You’ll also find such beauty in this late summer music.

Penelope is out now digitally and on vinyl LP through Asian Man Records.

Add to wantlist: Asian Man || Bandcamp || Discogs || Small Crush

New album: Pale Angels || Plastic Legacy pt. 1

The new Pale Angels LP Plastic Legacy pt. 1  is a collision of noise and melody. The guitar and fuzz bass are loud, and the production has the raw energy of a live show. The standout track for me is Never Asleep. It is an electrifying song that I keep returning to, each time wondering if it will provide the same rush. It does, and the addition of some xylophone is definitely a part of that.

Pale Angels is Jamie Morrison and Michael Santostefano. On Plastic Legacy pt 1, which is part of a duology that includes 2022’s Plastic Legacy pt 2, they are joined by Jerome Westerkamp (of the amazing VACATION) on drums. Plastic Legacy pt 1 is out now through Rad Girlfriend.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Rad Girlfriend

New album: Hillsboro || Hillsboro

Dark clouds are heading our way from Victoria, British Columbia (Canada), thundering the raw sound of Hillsboro. Nima Walker, Dexter Hodgins, Oliver Hollingshead, Tucker Hoey and Samuel Wells play a kind of lo-fi alt-rock with 90s emo and shoegaze influences, but with contemporary twists – rich music that takes multiple listens to fully comprehend. On their self-titled DIY full-length you’ll hear ten dynamic, textured songs with distorted guitars, tight drumming, a haunting violin and passionate vocals, but also catchy elements that could have been from The Strokes, American Football or even U2. The cut-up lyrics offer a way out present-day anxiety (“The blackest bird is still a bird // I guess it’s time someone got hurt” – from opening track Exit Plan), while immersing you in characterful chords.

Hillsboro’s self-titled album is out now digitally and on vinyl LP (self-released).

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Lewsberg || Out And About

If you were to create a word cloud of the reviews Lewsberg‘s work has received so far, ‘The Velvet Underground’, ‘minimalism’, ‘repetitive’ and ‘melancholy’ would probably appear the largest. That’s understandable, but it’s fascinating how the Rotterdam art pop / crank wave outfit has developed into much more than that. Their new (fourth) album, Out And About, is as poetic and bewitching as ever, both in terms of lyrics and the way they are recited, but the current line-up – Arie van Vliet (guitar, violin, vocals), Shalita Dietrich (bass guitar, vocals), Michiel Klein (guitar, keys) and Marrit Meinema (drums, vocals) – sounds warmer and lighter than before, and the alternation between male and female Sprechgesang works well. Some evidence below: listen to standout tracks There’s A Poet In The Bushes (a wonderful story about “an unusual but harmless situation”) and Canines (an earworm violin melody), and be enchanted. This record is at times dreamy, at other moments energetic, but always unique.

Out And About, produced by Yulya Divakova, is out now digitally, on CD and vinyl LP through Lewsberg Records / 12XU.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Discogs 

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