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National Site
December 2016
Slaughter Beach, Dog
"Welcome
"
mp3
Jake Ewald, well-known as one-fourth of Modern Baseball, steps into the spotlight on his first full-length album as Slaughter Beach, Dog. Suitably titled Welcome, Ewald’s ten-track confessional holds nothing back. Each melody and each emotion is unfettered and nostalgic without apology. Like the grownup and more articulate version of your favorite band from undergrad, Slaughter Beach, Dog’s dream-pop adjacent anthems will melt your heart with ease.
 
Opening with the self-aware ‘90s throwback “Mall-rat Semiannual,” Welcome’s strength lies in Ewald’s ability to build an entire universe within a matter of seconds. Like a lyrical rendering of an intricate diorama, the album’s first track unfolds with earnest inflection, sway-worthy riffs, and a romanticism reminiscent of Pavement’s “Gold Soundz” meshed with Modest Mouse’s “Dramamine”. The directness of “Toronto Mug” is perfectly mirrored by the its brevity, while “Monsters” feels like the song you wish you wrote about yourself, depicting with precise rhythm what it means to be haunted by the shortcomings of others as well as your own.
 
“Bed Fest” plays out like the soundtrack to a mumblecore flick at its climax - bittersweet and subtle - awash in acoustic chords and swelling snare, ending in trippy reverb as Ewald croons, “You can’t stay here.” “Forever” and “Jobs” are pragmatic snapshots of the millennial plight framed by poppy backbeats and relatable proclamations like “I think that we’re better off just believing in ourselves, but that’s just me.” A sweet but solemn love song, “Politics of Grooming,” effortlessly bleeds into “Drinks,” a wistful theme for lovers not quite over their past, but unafraid of diving headfirst into the future, hand in hand despite misgivings. Like a premature epilogue, “Toronto Mug II” is lo-fi in all the right ways, serving as a welcomed primer to the album’s instrumental exit, “Essex Street.”
 
Staying true to its namesake, Slaughter Beach, Dog’s latest slew of songs will remind you of where you came from and who you really are. - Dianca London

Blue Skies for Black Hearts does X-Mas

Now that December is just a few hours away, let's break out the Jesus birthday jams. Now in it's 9th volume, XO for the Holidays is a compilation put out by Portland and Detroit based PR firm XO Publicity. This year, XO for the Holidays presents the rocking power pop of Blue Skies for Black Hearts doing a Christmas classic.

We all miss David Bowie terribly and Bing Crosby's influence is undeniable, so hearing Blue Skies for Black Hearts taking on their 1977 holiday hit "Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy" brings about a true sense of joy. 

Frontman Pat Kearns's vocals fittingly encapsulate much of what Bowie and Crosby were serving in their original rendition, but with his own twist of course. His recently released solo record, So Long City, showcases his vocal talents further.

Listen to all of XO for the Holidays here, and give Blue Skies For Black Hearts' take on "Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy" below.

Stream: Dowager - 'Title Track'

It's refreshing to see that the screamo-emo-hardcore stylings many of us grew up enjoying, though often denied, is again becoming a popular genre. Local trio Dowager have been receiving much and well deserved press as eclipsing purveyors of this musical class, especially with their long awaited and recently released Title Track EP.

Title Track, which came out the day after November's notorious food fest, is five songs worth of formulaically aggressive screamocore that translates into an addicting experience in headphones and on stage.

Dowager's all-ages release show for Title Track will be this Saturday at Black Water with the bewitchingly darling Bashface, Seattle's Curse League and one of the best band names to come out of 2016, Dranky Skelerton (members of Robot Boy and Don Quixote). 

If you haven't been doing this already, stream Title Track again and again until the weekend.

Afraid Releases New Single - All This and More

​Berkeley, California​ ​based band,​ ​Afraid​ ​has released a new track entitled "All This and More"​ ​from the split album ​with Maine based artist, Jared Fairfield​, ​Eternal Motherfucker II​.​

Afraid was formed in a damp, spider-infested basement at the bottom of Portland, Maine’s Munjoy Hill during the summer of 2013. Since then, founding members Jakob Battick and Ryan Cutler have guided the band’s ever-evolving lineup through a handful of EPs and splits, including collaborations with Herbcraft's Matt Lajoie, Swans' Jarboe, and Sterling Black, and one paranoid, hallucinatory full-length, Sinister Vibes (Crash Symbols). In the summer of 2015, the group relocated cross-country to the birthplace of American psychedelia, Berkeley, CA, and evolved two lifetimes along the way. Currently, the group is laying low in the idyllic Northern Californian surround and searching for its own vision of “Cosmic American Music.”

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New Music Video: "Chandelier Thief" - Petal

Petal, a.k.a. Kiley Lotz, captivates from every angle in her latest video for "Chandelier Thief". Found on the LP Shame (Run For Cover), the footage was directed and edited by Sarah Trad. Petal will be performing next in Philly on Sunday, December 11 at Union Transfer, opening for Pinegrove and Kevin Devine & The Goddamn Band. (Photo by Emily Dubin)

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