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Vow of Volition Make the Final Round of the Battle for Warped Tour

The Vans Warped Tour was the first festival for many of us back in the day. As young'ns, it's likely we didn't necessarily think about all that went into figuring out the bands to book and play the whole shebang. Part of that process, at least locally, seems to be through a series "battle of the bands" style competitions specifically for landing a spot on the fest. Quite a few Portland bands have been furiously playing against one another for said spot, and djent/prog metal act Vow of Volition are one of the acts that made it to the finals.

Warped Tour was always the type of festival that included much in the realm of pop punk, punk punk, emo and metal, so Vow of Volition's advancement to the final round is no surprise. Their incredibly technical, at times jazzy metal stands out in Portland's pretty linear popular music scene, and is much worthy of the attention its getting.

Those that want to support Vow of Volition in driving home the permanent spot can go to the Battle for Warped Tour finals Saturday at the Hawthorne Theatre.





Love at first listen with The Six Seven’s “Watch Your Head”

Yes yes yes! Poppy, punky and some solid rock n’ roll, The Six Sevens are working some justice on their new album, “Watch Your Head.” We’re glad to have snagged them from down in Santa Barbara, whose beachy skater vibes sneak into a couple tracks in just the right way. Influenced by groups like Joyce Manor, The Front Bottoms and The Districts, their songs have funny, youthful lyrics, a refreshing mix of old school harmonies and guitar ticklings that remind us of the Strokes with a touch of Weezer. Shout out to track “San Francisco” for obvious reasons and “Back to the Start” for those killer melodies. It’s an album that’s easy to fall for on the first listen and it was all written, mixed and produced in their garage. We’re glad to have these boys around to play the local scene. Stay tuned for details on their next show in Oakland this January. And ‘til then, crank it. - Michelle Kicherer, Associate Editor





Tempers finds an audience in Europe + releases concept LP about consumerism

A Brooklyn band that was born to be appreciated in the triangle of land enclosed between Manchester, Milan and Berlin, Tempers has been slowly finding recognition... exactly there. Proponents of a brand of coldwave (aka synth-post-punk) that most Americans will find unnecessarily depressing, the duo has released an excellent debut album in 2015 that - like all good records - has not stopped conquering hearts just yet (it's called "Services"). After spending four years touring and promoting that release, the duo has finally come out with their sophomore full length, which takes their lugubrious electronic music to new levels of abstraction and intellectual exploration. Presented as "a concept album about the architecture of consumerism," the record features conversations with iconic dutch architect Rem Koolhaas and a more explorative sound that's less influenced by the canons of the electronic new wave of the '80s. Check out the video for single "Love at the Mall."





Sun Parade break through the winter blues & head to NYC to bring in the new year

Northampton's Sun Parade can do it all. Last year's Shuggy Mtn Breakdown was the perfect blend of tender lyricism, fun pop-leaning harmonies, explosive guitar breakdowns, and playful melodies. Their September release, the upbeat single "WUNNANUTHR TIME" (streaming below), grooves in a different way. Built on a simple, danceable beat, the track incorporates a more psychedelic side, while also nodding towards some elements of disco. It sounds just as fresh as it did back in the spring when it was released, and it's exactly what we need to look back on to get us through another New England winter. Sun Parade will be shipping off to NYC to accompany Blac Rabbit on their two-night New Year's Eve run at the Mercury Lounge. Bring in the new year with Blac Rabbit, Sun Parade, and Huck (a Deli NYC favorite) on December 30. - Lilly Milman





Debut Puppy Angst EP Available for Streaming & Purchase

Tiny Thoughts, the new EP from the quartet of Puppy Angst, is out now via Good How Are You Records. With an uninhibited, stream-of-consciousness style of lyricism, an endearing, relatable quality is present. Working through situations while acknowledging ones imperfections, the recordings stew between subdued moments and grittier, aggressive, shoegazy noise-pop. It finds balance between the cycle of replaying thoughts and stepping out to let off steam.

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